Moundou - Chad / ENVODEV received its long-awaited first shipment of bio char from the villages of Badei and Domane. The bags were brought to Moundou at the end of the month of May. Nearly 1000 pounds of bio char were shipped to our centralized production site on local transportation, consisting of a pick-up truck that routinely drives through remote areas to pick up and drop off all different types of goods and fresh produce.
Each bag of char was purchased from the trained teams in Domane and Badei, giving the team members a new source of income they never could have imagined before. Once Eco-Charcoal is produced and introduced on the local market, the profit will be reinvested into the program. The ENVODEV team is thrilled to see that production is finally happening.
But our program has not been without its challenges. To name a few:
1. Our vehicle, though completely repaired two years ago, needs to be replaced. Our Toyota Hilux is taken to the repair shop after each trip to a village. We are exploring different ways of obtaining a new vehicle that will garantee the expansion of our program in the coming months.
2. Part of training a team in the pyrolysis process is insisting that kilns be left to cool off completely before opening. This garantees full carbonization. If the kiln is opened prematurely, there is a risk that a small amount of biomass ignites upon contact with oxygen. Even just a pinch of ember will slowly but surely consume the entire bag of bio char. The team at Domane learned the importance of respecting cooling instructions the hard way. After losing a few bags of bio char to combustion from within the bag, Domane made sure to give kilns enough time to cool. Fortunately, the biomass used is free, and all they really wasted was time.
3. The biochar has been transported out to Belaba, where production will have to take place for some time. The property we have been using has been partially taken by the City of Moundou for the expansion of the nearby bridge. The team we trained last year in Belaba will oversee production and help with sales. The team, Association pour la Protection de l'Eco-Système (APRO-ECO), has been waiting for this moment for a long time. Unable to collect enough raw material around the Moundou area, they knew it had to come from rural areas. (See picture of the property during the construction work).
But challenges are to be expected. Good things do not come without problems. In fact there is a saying in Chad. If a project doesn't come without problems, it's not a real project.
We still need capital to pay APRO-ECO members for the upcoming production of Eco-Charcoal. Please continue to support our project! Here is how you can help!
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