Created in 2011 in Ouagadougou by a group of partners wishing to make a concrete contribution to the fight against deforestation and poverty in Burkina Faso, EnerCo, managed by the association SOS Energie Burkina, aims to promote the use of biomass briquettes as a source Of alternative energy for domestic or other artisanal uses.
The population in the cities is on the rise, therefore production and consumption habits in Burkina Faso are changing as well. This also means an increase in energy needs. Wood continues to be the main resource for households and all other traditional activities such as construction. The consequence is large-scale deforestation and the disappearance of indigenous trees and shrubs. 90 percent of the families in Burkina Faso use wood for cooking, which makes the situation even worse. Open stoves also pose a serious health hazard because they pollute the air and cause respiratory illnesses – one of the reasons for the high mortality rate in developing countries.
EnerCo is offering a new solution to this problem. Biomass briquettes will help create green jobs and stop deforestation, but they will also help increase the quality of living for the local population and protect the environment. New eco-stoves will replace open fires and fuel-inefficient stoves.
A pilot project was begun in three villages where biomass briquettes made from waste, straw, card board and other organic materials were tested. Community members were actively involved and a management committee was installed.