In Burundi, firewood supplies 100% of domestic energy demand while 95% contributes to overall net fuel consumption. However, it jeopardizes forests.
New emerging initiatives tip to shift the balance through fuel briquettes via recycling bio and non-biodegradable wastages.
The country struggles to provide sustainable solutions to biodegradable and nonbiodegradable wastes. There erupt huge costs of recycling as well as affiliated management.
Delphin Kaze’s initiative shows there is another way to handle it. It is a two-folded plan.
First, provide new solutions to energy in view of deforestation mitigation by reducing wood consumption, thus paving new methods to households’ wood substitution.
Second, contribute to combat deforestation by availing a sustainable substitution to wood and charcoal.
Burundi entirely depends on wood for cooking. Over 95% use either charcoal or wood for kitchen daily activities.
“This extensive use of charcoal and wood drives the loss of forests along with the associated major environmental consequences, including soil erosion and collapse”, said Leonidas Nzigiyimpa, environmentalist.
UNDP reports that Burundi could be swept if the speed of deforestation is not curbed.
it said that in less than 30 years the country will be erased. its 10% forests lie in the balance.
it entails that by 2050, no tree will be in Burundi if nothing is done.
“Each year, 64 square kilometers of forest are destroyed”, reads the report.
Data show that 1 kilogram of charcoal is derived from 10 kilograms of wood.
Nationwide,as of 2019, annual consumption of coal stand at over 100, 000 tons which means that over 1, 000, 000 tons of wood are wasted.
Bujumbura capital city consumes approximately 55% of charcoal shipped from Bururi and Makamba provinces.
” Charcoal and firewood are the main sources of energy, at over 90%. However in 2020, Burundi was expected to benefit from forests covering 38% of the territory to cover its energy needs, whereas it had only 10%, a shortfall of 28%”, said Prof. Jacques Nkengurutse, Researcher on Plant domestication and Ecosystemic services at Burundi University, told Iwacu Press Group.
As a solution to alarming wood consumption, Delphin Kaze’s initiated via Kaze Green Company a substitute to charcoal and firewood for cooking.
In a live discussion on Facebook hosted by Veronique Kabongo, the World Bank country manager held on Wednesday the 4th of April, 2022, Delphin said that the company recycles from dumps fire briquettes.
He said that they came to solve wastes management as well as to ply wings to wood usage in household for energy.
“We anticipate and tackle deforestation threats by availing an innovative source of energy for cooking and stoking from dumps”, said Kaze.
Speaking on wastes Kabongo asked him what type of dumps they use as raw materials.
Delphin went on explaining that they manufacture agricultural leftovers such maze, rice, and cafés roundups to forge out of them briquette.
“These are biodegradable dumps”, he said.
“On this is added domestic wastes mainly peelings, from which we improve to yield energetic briquette followed by batten oven to minimize housing consumption. Ovens help us to generate heat shielding”, said Delphin Kaze.
“Again, we uplift plastic wastages to spare clay which ovens depend on”, he said.
Environmentalists applaud the initiative.
“These are projects that could be stapled weighed to charcoal in household therefore contribute to tree cutting mitigation in search for energy”, said Leonidas Nzigiyimpa.
The good thing is that these fuel briquettes are affordable at cheap price, he added.
Today, the cost of charcoal for a family of 8 people ranges from BIF 4,000 to 5,000 per day.
Through the use of briquettes and improved stoves, the reduction in wood burning can be as much as 90 to 10 per cent.
Therefore, a family can reduce charcoal spending by 50 to 60 percent by using 5 kg of briquettes sold at around BIF 2,000 per kilogram.
Regarding the cost of charcoal in Bujumbura which gravitates around BIF 50,000 per bag.
Fuel brits are expected to alleviate this burden due to low prices.
Fire briquette remains best bet for household as far as energy consumption is concerned, concluded Leonidas.