Here’s a story about Sanga Moses, one of Africa’s emerging explorers, who discovered ways of turning organic waste into fuel.
Growing up barefoot in a tiny village in Uganda where there was always a shortage of electricity, Sanga Moses became the first in his family to graduate from college and soon after landed a bank job in Kampala.
Returning home to visit his family, Sanga bumped into his younger sister who was in tears carrying wood on her head. A concerned Sanga asked why she was crying and she expressed how there are days every week that she misses school because she has to mission to source wood, as most rural girls in Uganda have to do. Sang felt like his sister was missing out on the only opportunity she had to improve her life – education.
With regards to the village and the environment in which Sanga grew up, a lot changed since he left home to work and make a living. Growing up Sanga’s home was surrounded by national forests, and when he came to visit his family he heavily noticed how all those trees had been removed. Today, children must walk longer distances to source wood.
As a means to come up with a solution to problems born of burning wood, Sanga quit his job and began learning everything he could about renewable resources as he had the goal of successfully turning organic waste into fuel. Eventually he came across the progressively popular practice of turning organic waste into fuel. One day Sanga noticed a massive heap of sugar cane remains which is not hard to come by as Uganda is mainly agricultural and farm waste is frequently abandoned. Sanga immediately started working with engineering graduates to design kilns and briquette machines.
Several short years later the facts are:
- 2,500 farmers use his kilns to turn farm waste—coffee husks and waste from sugar cane and rice—into charcoal.
- A company that Moses founded, called Eco-Fuel Africa, buys the char and turns it into briquettes for cooking that burn cleaner and cost less than wood.
- Eco-Fuel Africa takes those briquettes to market, providing fuel for over 19,000 Ugandan families.
There’s more to burning fuel wood than the destruction of Uganda’s trees, it also affects “the health and educational opportunities of the country’s poorest people.
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