On 30th November 2021, our school was shortlisted for the 2021 Environmental Education program pending on the project presentation and the final selection. On Friday, 3rd December 2021, two students ( Charles Lwanga Tanye, and Mary Kombat Yennutrin) made a PowerPoint presentation of our project via zoom to the selection committee of the program. On the 9th of December 2021 we received a contract letter from the International Support Network for African Development (ISNAD- Africa) giving us the legal binding to implement our project within a time frame of four months. Our school team comprises 11 boys, 9 girls, and 2 coordinating teachers.

The school was closed on 18 December 2021 for the Christmas break and resumed on the 10th of January 2022 to continue the second semester of the Academic year. On the 19th of January 2022, we had our first meeting with Collen Fisk, our project advisor, where she took the opportunity to introduce herself to our school team and interacted with the students to understand our project. The school finally closed on 27th January 2022 and resumed on 7th February 2022 to begin the new academic year.

The students have been taken through the various stages of making briquettes manually. However, due to the level of interest generated we have designed a simple electric powered machine to be fabricated by Gratis Foundation in Tamale. The machine when completed can produce 1000kg of charcoal briquettes per day. The machine is 90% complete.

Students with rice husks ready for carbonizing

Rice husks being burnt in a controlled or limited amount of oxygen ( carbonization or pyrolysis)

Charred or carbonized rice husks after 8 hours of slow pyrolysis

Students mixing the charred ricehusks with cassava starch binder. Students know that the moiture content for quality briquettes is between 8mm to 12mm.

Students use manual compacting machine to compress the mixture of cassava, stach and ricehusks into compact block of charcoal. Students know that the quality of briquettes depend on how well compacted the briquettes is.

Students drying briquettes

Students picking dried charcoal briquettes ready for use

We thank ISNAD-Africa and WWF for the opportunity to embark on this innovative project. We are motivated to do more.

Thank you

– Cletus Baalangbuoro (Coordinating Teacher)