Tag Archives: Tanzania


Can a Tanzanian venture spark a briquette revolution in Africa?

Everyone knows that telling people to voluntarily use less fossil fuels because CO2 emissions are harming the planet is a very weak motivator. But tell them they can save money, even make money, if they switch to a sustainable alternative fuels, THEN they start paying attention. In some ways, that’s what a Tanzanian non-profit is asking the country’s producers and consumers of wood and charcoal fuels to do: take biomass waste, convert it to briquettes using a simple mechanical process, and, voila, you’ve got yourself a cleaner burning, more environmentally friendly fuel for personal consumption or sale! ARTI – Tanzania … Continue reading


The East African Briquettes Company points the way to sustainable biomass alternative

Nicholas Harrison is the driving force behind one new idea in Tanzania: the East Africa Briquettes Company. Harrison purchased the factory in Tanga in March 2009 where he now produces the “mkaa bora,” a briquette that burns “longer, hotter, and cheaper” than conventional vegetable charcoal.

The country consumes about one million tons of wood charcoal each year, so the market is huge. And with a deforestation-to-replacement rate of 3-to-1, there is little chance Tanzania will be able to keep pace with the country’s demand for charcoal, especially in the growing capital.

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Is a charcoal crisis looming for Tanzania?

Tanzania figures prominently when you google the terms “Africa, charcoal, poverty, and environment.” The facts and figures I came across gave me pause. Tanzania burns one million tons of charcoal each year, which amounts to clearing more than 300 hectares (about 750 acres) of forest every day to produce charcoal. For context, that’s about 1,000 sq miles each year or the equivalent of about two New York Cities, including its five boroughs. Unfortunately, the rate of deforestation outstrips the replacement rate by about 3 to 1. That means that, for every acre planted, three are lost. What’s more, the number … Continue reading