To Empower Rural Poor Women Groups to Combat the Negative Effects of Climate
Change – Uganda
Farmers in Uganda are fighting climate change by making charcoal briquettes out of farming waste.
“To Empower Rural Poor Women Groups to Combat the Negative Effects of Climate Change”
trains farmers how to make charcoal briquettes, and also includes reforestation efforts. This
project seeks to restore the environment while giving people a sustainable source of energy.
- 200 households directly benefited
- Increased household income from $1 to $3 per week
- 80 per cent of the smallholder farmers are women
Demand for wood fuel and timber is the major factor driving deforestation in Uganda. Four-fifths of
Ugandans live in rural areas, and the majority of the population lives below the poverty line. A lack of
modern and affordable fuels has forced people to depend on wood charcoal and firewood as an energy source,
causing massive deforestation.
Increased deforestation has resulted in numerous environmental problems, such as drought, floods, and
pests. Environmental degradation in Uganda has been exacerbated by factors such as pollution and poor
Smallholder farmers in central Uganda’s Mpigi district are being trained in how to produce charcoal
briquettes out of agricultural waste, like bean and rice husks, corn cobs, and grass. These freely
available materials are kiln-fired into non-sooty briquettes that the farmers, mostly women, can use
themselves or sell for cash.
With the support of CISONET, the project also
sensitizes farmers on climate change and other environmental issues, and mobilizes them to participate in
Helping the planet
Recycling waste into fuel amounts to better resource management. This translates into less pressure on
forest ecosystems. The briquettes burn cleaner than wood, which emits fewer greenhouse gases. Trees that
are planted also combat climate change by absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
Farmers trained in briquette-making learn a new skill that they can use to earn money. They also save
money, and time, by not having to buy or collect wood. People who buy and use these affordable briquettes
enjoy cleaner indoor air, and also pay less overall on fuel. Young trees are now growing in areas in Mpigi
that were once bare, which will help reduce the ferocity of storms.
Demand is high for the cheap, sustainably produced briquettes, indicating that the project could be
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