Every Thursday morning, a group of women in a community in Lilongwe’s Area 23 gather to make fuel briquettes. Their efforts are certainly paying off – with over 2000 sold in a month!
Deforestation is a huge problem and the cutting down of trees for firewood is one of the main causes. Briquettes are a great source of energy for the people here in Malawi and are also a good way of using what resources are available to do everyday tasks such as cooking. Briquettes are also much better for human health as they generate little to almost no emissions.
The briquettes are made using waste paper, water and sawdust. You take one part paper, to three parts sawdust and add some water. You then pound this together to make a mixture and then add to the briquette presser. The then compacts the briquettes and pushes the water out. The briquettes are removed and then left to dry for twenty four hours.
This project has been running for around 3 years and is an excellent way for local communities to generate income through making, marketing and selling briquettes. We hope to see more success stories in the future.