Fuel briquettes from groundnut shells
In The Gambia, Anthony Tabbal has established a business making fuel briquettes from groundnut shells. He was inspired to do this by his concern over deforestation in the country, with many trees being felled for firewood and charcoal making. With support from the Gambian Groundnut Company he obtains the waste shells for free, which enables him to keep the price of the briquettes down, costing less than charcoal while also being much cleaner and more efficient. This also helps him reduce the costs of fuel in his restaurant kitchen; cook Fatou Kamara also explains why she prefers to use the new fuel.
The felling of trees for commercial sale of firewood and production of charcoal is one of Africa’s biggest environmental challenges. But for many people, wood based fuels are the only option, with other forms of fuel either unavailable or too expensive. In recent years, there has been growing interest in alternatives, however, such as biogas. And in The Gambia, another type of fuel recently became available.
Groundnut shell fuel briquettes are made from the discarded shells of groundnuts, which are available in large quantities in The Gambia because of its groundnut industry. The briquettes have been pioneered by local businessman, Anthony Tabbal, and his briquette-making business was recognised in 2011 by the United Nations Environment Programme for its contribution to sustainable development. As well as manufacturing the fuel briquettes, Mr Tabbal also runs a restaurant in one of The Gambia’s leading areas for tourism. Ismaila Senghore went there to meet him, and began by asking what had motivated Mr Tabbal to make a cooking fuel from groundnut shells.
Ismaila Senghore reporting from The Gambia. And that report was supported by the Climate and Development Knowledge Network.
Making the most of it:
Making good use of waste products would be an interesting topic to cover in more detail, using local examples. Ask your listeners to send in their most innovative or useful examples of how they - or people they know - are recycling or reusing waste materials.
To be notified when new Agfax reports come online, write your email address in the box below.