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A few people have embraced the technology of using energy saving stoves which saves on daily home expenditures. “For the use the energy stove, you can now afford to save half of your expenditure on a daily basis. buy briquettes of 1000 and use them the whole day. You will even remain with a small balance to start with the next day than charcoal of 3000 shillings a day,”

“After lighting the stove, it is able to absorb and retain heat for approximately six hours. When I close the stove ventilators, the briquettes burn steadily for a long time. As they burn, the stove stores some of the heat in its thick body and uses it to cook food when the briquettes burn out,”

Fast and reliable
the energy saving stove are quick and reliable in means of cooking compared to an ordinary charcoal stove where charcoal burns out in a space of 90 minutes. “After lighting the stove, you can prepare meals for my family in an hour’s time. Even when the charcoal is burnt out, I still continue to cook because the stove has a thick body all around it that absorbs and transmits heat to the saucepan when I need it,”

Changing energy behavior

with production factories in Mbarara and Mukono, the motivation behind investing in the manufacture of these stoves is to ensure that Uganda’s population uses stoves that do not only save the environment but also save up to 40 percent of charcoal and wood fuel.

“We would like to see a mind-set and behavior change among the rural and urban population. People should embrace clean cooking energy instead of running to cut down a tree every time you think of energy for cooking. If you use the energy stoves, it allows you use charcoal responsibly,”

Energypedia, an online portal observes that Uganda’s energy problem situation deteriorates annually. Wood fuels are largely used for cooking in rural areas while charcoal mostly provides for the cooking needs of the urban population. High demand for wood fuels used inefficiently results in overuse and depletion of forests.

How the stoves are manufactured
that energy saving stoves are manufactured with clay, mica, sow dust, and cement. These materials serve as heat insulators and prevent external air from entering the stove. “On heating, the thick component made of clay that is a combination of mica and cement becomes red due to intense heat. When you close the stove ventilators, the mica component prevents heat loss and external air intrusion. This makes sure that the charcoal used in the stove burns steadily without the need of adding more charcoal as you cook,”

Different sizes of stoves cost differently because they are used in different places. There are also stoves that can be used in restaurants and schools that serve many people as well as those used for long charcoal stoves for nyama choma. “Energy saving stoves are accessible to the rural and urban populations at affordable prices. As we focus on production, there are partners who carry our supply and distribution within and around Kampala. The plan is to make these stoves accessible to the population from all parts of the country to reduce deforestation,”

Briquettes are compressed blocks of coal or charcoal that burn under fire. They are an excellent way to utilize the smashed pieces of charcoal usually thrown away.

Briquettes burn longer than charcoal and therefore, will reduce the amount of charcoal a household uses.

Briquettes help conserve the environment because they burn for an average of two hours and a half compared to the 45 minutes of charcoal.
“There are different ways of making briquettes. You can use cow dung and smashed charcoal, you can also use cassava flour by boiling it until it looks like porridge then when it cools, you mix it with the charcoal mould it and spread it under the sun,”

However, there are problems with these types of briquettes for example, the cow dung briquettes have a bad smell, the one of cassava flour produces a lot of smoke which you cannot get rid of while you cook. I highly advise people to use the soil briquettes’ especially those made of clay that can be used up to three days”
What you need
• Soil preferably clay
• Smashed Charcoal
• Water

How to make soil briquettes
Clay is a good type of soil to use because briquettes made with clay last longer than those made with any kind of soil. Clay soil will take the shape given to it and it is very easy to mold. “if you don’t have clay soil then use loam soil, get some wet soil and with equal parts of smashed charcoal.
Mix roughly the blend of soil and charcoal dust then add some water and mix it thoroughly.
Mould the mixture into small round balls or any shape that is suitable for you. Put it in the sun to dry. If you want it the briquettes to look nice, you can add another layer of charcoal dust”

How to use the briquettes
“When using the briquettes, light your charcoal stove with a little charcoal. When the charcoal has lit up, you add the briquettes,”  the advantage of using briquettes while cooking is that even when the small charcoal you use gets finished, the briquettes will remain hot and you can cook with them. Do not throw away your last bits of charcoal. With these three simple steps, you can save money. Briquette making can also be a money venture that you can involve your children at any age.


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