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By Tindi Sitati / wPOWER Hub News

Charcoal is a prime source of energy, and is a driving force in many economies. In Africa alone, over 80% of the population still depends on firewood and charcoal for cooking, and this is unlikely to change due to population growth and rising urbanization.

A team from the wPOWER Hub at the Wangari Maathai Institute, paid a visit to Cookswell Jikos, a small Kenyan owned hybrid business that provides quality charcoal and wood fueled stoves to the market, to discover how the business is providing sustainable solutions to the challenges facing the charcoal industry in Kenya.

Cookswell has established an eco friendly charcoal making kiln used to produce charcoal from sustain-ably managed forests in a more environmentally friendly way. The Kinyanjui Kiln makes about 1kg of charcoal per hour, and is made from 20 gauge sheet metal.

‘We are trying to reduce the amount of emissions from charcoal production and have also been able to condense and recover as much of the smoke into a usable product for your home’ said Teddy Kinyanjui who spoke as he demonstrated how the charcoal making kiln works.

Cookswell Jikos advocates for the sustainable production, management and utilization of wood fuels as one of the many renewable energy resources for East Africa’s cooking needs.

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