Let’s preserve trees

News   Hazviperi Mbizi   August 30, 2019
PIC: Some of the briquettes
The Physics and Biochemical department under the Faculty of Applied Sciences at the Polytechnic have joined the campaign of helping to reduce deforestation, solve disposal and pollution problems by producing cheap smokeless and clean alternative energy source, which could replace charcoal called briquettes.

A laboratory assistant, Kingsley Kabango explained that a briquette is a compressed block of combustible biomass material like sawdust, rice husks, groundnut shells, waster papers, cow dung, wood chips and banana peels, used for fuel and kindling to start a fire.

A project, which is also being done by some organisation in the country, the department, thought it wise to be part of those trying to protect trees which are being cut carelessly.

 “Briquettes are economical in such a way that they use locally found materials to be produced. If the society or industries could help us expand this project, there could be a solution to climate change and deforestation,” Kabango said.

He further outlined that the adoption of briquettes as a locally found fuel, would also help in job creation for people in industries.

Speaking after using the briquettes as an experiment, Jane Saguga, a lady from Ndirande explained that these are even way better than charcoal because they last longer and they do not produce smoke.

The department intends to expand this project so that it should be producing them in bulk to be sold at an affordable price so the  community should benefit.

According to National Charcoal Strategy (NSC) report, 97 % of households in Malawi rely on charcoal and firewood as their primary cooking fuel and Malawi’s demand for these fuels is increasing faster than the adoption of alternative energy sources.

In this regard, trees are being cut carelessly which leaves the land bare and prone to floods.

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