In Kenya, paper briquettes recycle waste and create income

In Kenya, paper briquettes recycle waste and create income

In FRB’s Kenya-Ndeiya program, making charcoal briquettes out of waste paper and other materials has become a solution to the scarcity of firewood, and a “green” source of income for many families. The Kenyan government has restricted thecutting of trees in an attempt to halt massive deforestation in the country, yet most people have no choice but to cook over open fires or on small wood-burning stoves.

A recent workshop demonstrated a creative way to make alternative fuel, clean up the environment, and even generate a source of income.

To make these briquettes:

  1. soak any kind of waste paper - easily obtained – to make a slurry that will act as a binder, then drain
  2. mix in dried grasses, other clean combustibles, and already-burned charcoal (2 parts combustibles to 1 part paper pulp)
  3. press out excess moisture and form into balls
  4. dry in the sunThe briquettes burn slowly, therefore reducing the amount of fuel used, whether placed among the traditional “three stones” of an open fire or in a small “jiko” stove that heats more efficiently. 

Amos, a widower who attended the training, shared his story: “I have been a member of this beekeepers group for the last three years. Since I lost my wife I have been living alone: all my children are grown up.

When my wife was alive she used to do the cooking, and I only came to realize how difficult it was when she fell sick. I had to perform all the household chores, including fetching firewood, cooking, warming bathing water and feeding my wife.

All this work was consuming lots of firewood or charcoal, which is very expensive. When she died, I mostly slept on an empty stomach when I had not collected enough firewood. However, when I participated in the organized training on solid waste management, I learned how to make charcoal briquettes, and this has solved my firewood problem.

I have since been making charcoal briquettes for my cooking and heating water. I now save the money I used to spend on charcoal and no longer sleep on an empty stomach because of lack of fuel.

I intend to make more briquettes and sell the extra to my neighbors for income. I thank the program for helping me solve my fuel challenges, and for exposing me to something that will help me earn some money. May God bless you and your partners.”

FRB's Kenya-Ndeiya program encompasses 3 communities, 300 households, and 1800 individuals

10/03/2014 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment