ARTI Trains 200 Villagers to Produce Char Powder

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Five trainings focused on char powder production have been held since February 2013 involving a total of 200 participants from Bagamoyo and Kibaha district in the Pwani Region, Tanzania.

These trainings are part of our project, Scaling-Up of Charcoal Briquette Production in Tanzania  which aims at supporting various stakeholders to produce and supply 2000 tons of non-wood charcoal briquettes per year in Dar es Salaam.

Yasin Thabiti with non-wood charcoal briquettes made from dry biomass

Part of the objectives of these trainings is to support Tanzanians in rural areas to increase their income by developing a simple activity that uses readily available resources: the production of char powder by using dry biomass (grasses, leaves, sawdust, coconut husks and other type of agricultural waste). The trained villagers then sell the char powder to one of the two briquette production units also supported by ARTI TZ.

One of the trainees with char powder obtained from the burning of dry biomass

In this project, we work on all steps of the non-wood briquette charcoal value chain: char production and supply at village level, charcoal briquette manufacturing at two production units at district level, marketing and sales within the Dar-Es-Salaam charcoal market.

The trainings are a key component of the first step of the value chain. Villagers and especially farmers are often lacking income opportunities, and yet, they have access to a valuable resource; dry biomass such as grasses, leaves, agriculture waste, coconut shells, rice and maize husks which are, in most cases, considered as waste. This dry biomass is perfect for making non-wood charcoal briquettes. Therefore we train the villagers on how to make char powder by burning this dry biomass with a special kiln.

Different types of dry biomass such as coconut husks and grasses used in the production of char powder

The trainings last 2 days and are facilitated by our Field Officer, Yasin Thabiti who is a former char producer and our program manager, Manon Lelievre. The trainings are mostly ‘hands-on’: the participants are divided into small working groups which are each given a set of equipment including a kiln. This method enables the participants to become at ease with the use of the kilns and very comfortable with the whole process of char powder production. They are taught what kind of waste to use, which are the best, the quality required as well as the different safety practices to apply and how to use the safety gears properly. Certificates of completion are handed over the last day.

Women learning how to use the kiln

After each training, ARTI Tanzania signs contracts with the interested groups for them to become char suppliers of one of the two briquette production units. ARTI provides equipments, training and transport of the produced char powder while the char producers (organized as groups most of the time) must supply at least 200 kg of char per week. Each kilo of char powder worst 150Tsh.

Training participants with their certificates following the char powder training.

In the coming months, we will be carrying out about 13 trainings in order to achieve our objective to train over 700 Tanzanians in char production.

Read more about the ‘Scaling-Up of Charcoal Briquette Production in Tanzania‘ project and our two briquette production units in upcoming news.

ARTI visits Tanga Region for wPower Project

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ARTI Energy conducted its first site visits in the lead up to the wPower project in partnership with Access Africa and CARE Tanzania between Feburary 27 and March 2.  The wPower team was led by Francis Songela of Access Africa/CARE Tanzania and included ARTI Energy’s Dennis Tessier, Programs Director, Glory Tarimo, Project Officer and Brenda Allan, Solar Technician. The group visited the Tanga region where it moved between a total of 5 districts communicating with 22 Village Agents (VAs), representing 420 groups and 6,870 individual Village Savings and Loans association (VSLAs) members.

ARTI’s Glory Tarimo & Brenda Allan teach Village Agents the skills required to become a clean energy entrepreneur.

ARTI Energy and Access Africa conducted informational sessions in Tanga Urban, Tanga Rural, Muheza, Handeni and Korogwe. The sessions were aimed at preparing the VAs for subsequent intense training visits aimed at readying them for becoming clean energy entrepreneurs. VAs were given a basic outline into the training required to become successful entrepreneurs including broad business and sale strategies along with specific product knowledge and technical training.

Glory Tamiro displays the clean energy products to interested VAs

ARTI Energy was very impressed with all the VAs that we met. They all showed the enthusiasm and commitment needed to achieve success through the wPower project and are eagerly awaiting our next visit when they can begin their training proper.  ARTI Energy was also pleased to see two of the VAs, Fatuma Mohamed and Fatuma Nyangasa, make the first sales of the wPower project. Both women sold Barefoot Power’s Firefly solar light and received their commissions for their sales. Not only did this set a great example for their fellow VAs but also gave encouragement to ARTI Energy and Access Africa about the future of the wPower project.

ARTI staff explain solar products to members of the Tanga community.

Our first training will take place in the coming weeks in the Tanga and Muheza districts.

To learn more about ARTI’s partnership with CARE Tanzania in the wPower project visit:       http://arti-africa.org/projects/wpower/

 

VAs investigate the features of the energy efficient cook stoves with ARTI staff.