<i>By Sylvia Herzog & Jean Kim Chaix</i>

It’s been one year since Henry Twinemasiko, the director of the Rubaare Education Foundation, reached out to the Charcoal Project for help. Their team set out to try to help the school crack its problem with diminishing woodfuel supplies and the increasing expense of procuring it to cook the 1600 meals the school kitchen provides to the boarding students and staff each day.

The three step plan for Rubaare consists of 1) retrofitting the six school kitchens with energy efficient stoves, 2) planting trees for fuel and other uses, and 3) training the school to produce fuel briquettes made from the regions surplus agricultural waste.

In researching the fuel briquette solutions, they discovered there were multiple options available and no decision tree on how to choose the between them. The Charcoal Project team spent the first six months researching and talking to developers, implementers, manufacturers and others with experience in the field.

The research led to Isaac Owor, founder of EnviroCoal, a fuel-briquette manufacturer based in the capital, Kampala. Isaac was kind enough to visit Henry in Rubaare to determine the school’s potential to make its own fuel briquettes. His positive assessment, his credentials, and the warm endorsement his work has received from others convinced the Charcoal Project that Isaac was the right partner for the project.

On October 19th, they received confirmation that all the elements necessary were in place for Isaac to travel to Rubaare the following week to begin assembling and training the main school in the production and use of briquettes made from locally available crop residues.