Charcoal is a fuel commonly used for household and institutional cooking and heating in certain parts of the developing world, especially Burundi. However, charcoal production in tropical regions of the world is often perceived to have devastating ecological and environmental effects. Hence, governments, public forestry institutions and non-government organizations have been particularly concerned about these charcoal-related impacts. The most commonly cited impact is deforestation, i.e., the clearance of forest or woodland. Faced with this continuous environment challenge, the idea of environmental friendly charcoal was born by a young Burundian.
Dalphin Kaze is the CEO of KAGE Ltd Burundi
KAGE is a social enterprise that promotes a green economy in Burundi. His innovative technology provides eco-friendly charcoal from using organic household waste and other farm residues.
The young enterprise founded some few years back now employees a handful of young people in Burundi without discrimination.
KAGE has been able to partner with other associations in charge of collecting household waste and rural maize farmers who supply the raw materials to the company used in manufacturing the eco-friendly charcoal which is now used in several households and communities in Burundi.
We spoke with Dalphin Kaze and he had this to say......
Here at KAGE Green ECONOMY, we produce eco-friendly charcoal briquettes from biodegradable waste, organic and biomass. We provide these finished products to households, to industries to fight against deforestation some bad effects related to climate change.
Journalist: How is this final product obtained?
Dalphin: The process consists of collecting waste from around the city, in households and from schools. After collecting the waste, we bring them here to the factory where the process begins with mixing in the different machines by the technicians. We have several employees who are working in the production of these charcoal. After several technical steps, we come out with the final product which can be used in households for cooking and in industries for heating.
Journalist: How have Burundians welcomed this initiative
Dalphin: Our production capacity is 20 tonnes per day for charcoal used in households, while for the non carbonise briquettes, we produce 25 tonnes per day which are used in boarding schools, refugee camps, and steel industries for heating. So we have two kinds of products.
Journalist: How much impact has this created, any appreciation from the govt.
Dalphin: The appreciations so far are good, because the product is affordable, not at all expensive when compared to the use of firewood and wood charcoal. The population are beginning to adopt the use of our eco-friendly charcoal. We already have more than five hundred households in Bujumbura who are using our product and all the refugee camps in Burundi are using our product. What you should note about the characteristics of this product is that it has combustion advantages. First is that when using our eco-friendly charcoal briquettes there is no smoke produced. While using our product, our environment remains protected. Many people now understand that by using our product, they are indirectly empowering the youths and promoting job creation. It is also a way to encourage youth initiatives. I want to appreciate the fact that the president and head of government Mr Evariste Ndayishimiye has been sensitizing the population to use this eco-friendly charcoal produced from renewable energy. As a way to encourage young people and job-creating and also as a way to protect the environment against deforestation.
Today, KAGE is not only an innovative fast-growing enterprise in Burundi, but it has solved a huge problem in the energy sector without destroying the Environment.
The project which has received support from the government of Burundi contributes to climate action in fighting against deforestation related to wood charcoal production. It contributes also to providing a sustainable solution in biodegradable waste management. Both the two solutions contribute significantly to reducing GreenHouse Gases emission. It is estimated that traditional wood energy (fuelwood and charcoal) emits 1–2.4 Gt of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) per year.