World Fuel from Waste Day 2012 #WFfWDay – 28th May – Events list

World Fuel from Waste Day 2012 #WFfWDay – 28th May – Events list

Follow us on Twitter @fuelfromwaste and #WFfWDay

We have 4 confirmed events – 3 around Kenya and 1 in London – so far, with more to be confirmed, soon.

1. Community Action for Nature-Githunguri – CAN G (a program under the Youths Climate Change Adaptation Network) will be running an event focusing on biogas. They will be demonstrating the techniques used in generating biogas from the school’s toilets and those used by local farmers who are using biogas generated from cow dung.

The event will be held at – Mama Ngina Primary School, Kinoo, Westlands.


 Contact – George Gituanja:

2. Seminars, demonstrations and training of briquetting and stove production techniques and machinery in Nairobi.

Consisting of video shows of the Alfastar Development Association and Fuel from Waste work, couple with live demonstrations of motorized and piston manual presses, and a range of stoves.

3. Seminars, demonstrations and training of briquetting and stove production techniques and machinery in Limuru.

Consisting of video shows of the Alfastar Development Association and Fuel from Waste work, couple with live demonstrations of motorized and piston manual presses, and a range of stoves

The Alfastar Development Association will facilitate both events.

 Contact – Ruth Githaiga:

4. A ‘Systems Jam’ – live development (through service ecology mapping) of new ways to link up technology (eg mobile banking, mobile apps, sms text services, solar systems, more) with community and individual briquette/sustainable energy initiatives and businesses.

Using the experience of the redLoop team, invited experts and Design students to generate ideas through service ecology mapping, to help expand and extend empowerment and community development, through sustainable energy, to more people.

RedLoop – the mdx design and innovation centre:

Contact – Wyn Griffiths:

Get in contact if you want to join in with existing events.

Or, you can set up your own.

This could be as small as a briquetting or solar experiment in your home or school; a planting event in your community; a local waste gathering and sorting session; a creative concepting session in your studio – or many more – be creative and let us know.


Alfastar Development Association – Fuel from Waste Network News

Alfastar Development Association information and training session news

The Alfastar Development Association was started by Ruth Githaiga and Patrick Ngatia (Director AlfaStar Industries), in consultation with Wyn Griffiths (of the Fuel from Waste Network), following on from the creation of a ‘roadmap’ for the future of sustainable energy at a community level, developed at the Fuel from Waste unConference 2011.

Its focus is to develop a network for sustainable energy training and entrepreneurship, for community development. To help to promote the lives of the community partners, recycle and make sustainable energy available and affordable, while creating income and empowerment for vulnerable groups (eg women, youth, disabled). This will support, and be supported by, conservation of vegetation cover for future generations.

Currently the association has a membership of 75 women and 22 youths.

There are currently four groups within the association, in different localities in the country:

(1) Juja

(2) Gatundu

(3) Githunguri

(4) Limuru

All headed by women, with members awaiting training, as and when funding and support becomes available.

A training event was held on the 11th and 12th of May 2012 in Kariobagi South.

It was facilitated by the GVEP International  organised by Maurice Onzere and Phylis Kariuki.

Ruth Githaiga and Mr Mwangi trained the group on general briquetting and a simple carbonising system.

The training started with simple hand briquettes as most of those attending have to start from scratch, and a programme working through levels of briquetting production (from simple hand, through manual machine, to powered machine) has been designed and agreed.

Each level will be monitored and supported to achieve the appropriate quality within a set time period.

The long-term plan, through the Development Association and partnerships such as with Fuel from Waste, is to link up the network of Development Association producers being trained, with strong market demand, mediated through the commercial arm of Alfastar Industries. This would create a sustainable ecology, with multiple layers of benefit for all stakeholders.

For more information – contact Ruth Githaiga on

Alfastar Development Association brochure:

This gives background on the industry and prices for briquettes and commercial training.

Alfastar Development Brochure and FfW – May 2012 Version

International Women’s Day 2012 – Stories of empowerment through briquetting

In the majority of societies, women work longer hours than men, are usually paid less and are more likely to live in poverty. In developing countries, they maintain the household; carrying out such tasks as such as, caregiving, food preparation, carrying water and collecting fuel. This unpaid domestic work places them at the hub of home and community, but their influence on finance, policy, development, governance, at personal, local and national levels, is often neglected.

Briquetting is one activity that gives an opportunity to help remodel the scope of that influence. It can act as a gateway to extending domestic and community responsibility into generation of self-sufficiency through finance, control of community waste management, reforestation and, therefore, family and community health in their area.

 Individuals and groups, such as:

Ruth Githaiga – Alfastar Industries

Perpetual Kamau  – Kenya Briquette

Bernadette Muthoni – Upendo Briquette

Eunice Misoga, Taphrosa Makungu and Lilian Muturi – Nyakio Women’s group

Jacqueline Awuor – Carolina for Kibera

Mary Kavita – Myumbuni Womens Group

Monica Mwangi – Women with a Vision

Aheu Dit Woman Group Southern Sudan

Beatrice Akoth – The Hut of Orphans of Kenya

They participated – co-designing the ‘Roadmap’, exhibiting the produce and demonstrating their production – in the ‘Fuel from Waste 2011’ unConference, have done fantastic work (many trained and supported by the tireless Legacy Foundation over many years, and are part of the ongoing FfW network and plan.


Here are some of their stories:

Bernadette Muthoni is the force behind Upendo Briquettes in Makina in the vast Kibera Estate.  For the middle-aged woman, briquettes have opened a new chapter in her life. “I used charcoal to raise my five children,” she says adding that she was an expert in the trade. “I know it [charcoal burning] like a man.” But this business had its challenges.  “I used to suffer chest pains so most of the money I made used to go to the doctors,” laments Muthoni. She is proud that she not only learnt briquette making but has also made modifications to improve her products from knowledge gained from using them. “Hii ni kazi ya kichwa si ya masomo”, (this is innovative work, not necessary learnt from books), she says describing the modifications she has made on her products.

She is a good marketer, we watch her explain the benefits of the briquette jiko, stove that does not produce black soot that stains the sufuria, pot used to make food. “It will only produce soot if the briquette was made using sub-standard material,” she explains to a visitor at her tent.  “It’s just like gas, if there is a problem with the gas burner, it will also blacken your sufuria but if it is ok, then your sufuria will remain the same,” she adds. For her, a key advantage of using briquettes is that there is absolutely no waste, she uses the ash from her jiko as raw material for making more briquettes.

Muthoni makes stoves that are better suited for briquette using steel rods and clay. At the exhibition, she made brisk business selling the well-displayed stoves. She had two types of stoves, smaller ones going for KSh850 and a bigger design retailing at KSh1200.  But she would not disclose how much she had made from the sales.

She had her briquette making machine imported from Germany at a cost of Kshs 80,000. Not one to keep the new knowledge to herself, Muthoni has attempted to train women and youth in her rural home in Nyeri in this new technology. But she is disappointed that they are not so keen on it.

Eunice Misoga, Taphrosa Makungu and Lillian Muturi are manning a stall with handmade woka.  This is the name given to briquettes in their locale, an informal settlement along Waiyaki Way in Nairobi. None of them can tell the origin of the name but that is what everyone around them calls briquettes. They make them using charcoal dust and red soil. We find Eunice demonstrating how the handmade briquettes are made. She is smartly dressed in a blue top and a matching blue skirt. One cannot help but marvel at how easily she makes the briquettes without worrying that the black mixture might stain her dress. She only pauses to explain “you check if the mixture can form a ball, if not, you add a bit of red soil to harden it.”

The three ladies belong to a chama, a club of about 30 women from their community.  They learnt briquette making in the year 2000 from Eunice who was taught by women in another informal settlement in Nairobi’s industrial area.  Through the groups’ merry-go-round, they contribute KSh150 per week. They raise money for their weekly contributions through the sale of woka. However, they produce the briquettes individually. The briquettes are for domestic use but they also sell them at Ksh2 a piece and a basin for KSh100. They all agree that it is cheaper to buy a basin than pieces but they cannot tell how many briquettes go into a basin. “We’ve never counted them,” perhaps indicating that their concern is more to get a cheaper alternative source of fuel than to make money out of it.  They buy charcoal dust at only KSh150 a bag and sometimes they get small pieces of charcoal in the dust that they use to ignite their briquette stoves.

Sharing marks their interaction with briquettes.  “It would be a waste to make a briquette fire just to make tea in the morning,” says Lillian explaining that the fire can burn for long. So what do you use to make breakfast? “Briquettes,” she answers adding that she has to plan her schedule. “You make tea, boil water for bathing the children, make lunch particularly if it is Githeri (mixture of maize and beans that boils for long), boil drinking water, then you also share the fire with a neighbor who might be needing fuel.  You cannot have the fire go to waste,” she reiterates.

Taphrosa has introduced briquettes in her rural home.  “Nowadays, tree cutting is not allowed,” she says citing the government ban on logging. “Getting firewood or even charcoal is difficult as the products are expensive,” she adds.  Through briquette making, their lives have improved, “one cannot lack food, children cannot be sent away from school for lack of fees, one can contribute to daily household expenses,” they each share the benefits of briquette making.


Perpetual Kamau is a poultry farmer who also makes and sells briquettes. The briquettes have added value to her farming as she uses the product to keep her chicks warm. “Compared to electricity, it is so much cheaper. Just one special red bulb for keeping the brooder warm costs KSh1000.” This is before one incorporates the high cost of electricity. Now, all she has to do is light a briquette jiko and replenish the fuel supply once a day. It saves her time, giving her the opportunity to share her knowledge through training women’s groups on the technology.

A visitor to FfW’s thoughts resonate today:

Anthony Ondicho who visited the exhibition and recommended that this forum move out to the regions. “This is timely as we need to look for alternative and sustainable ways to generate fuel that is safe for our environment,” said the young man who was with his mother Pamela.  “This should be targeted at mamas and youth. If you teach mamas and they don’t use the knowledge out there, they’ll use it in the family,” says Mrs Ondicho.

The full report – ‘Turning Waste Into Fuel’ by Winnie Mandi – is on the ‘Reports, Presentations and Outputs page.

FfW 2011 Participant News – ‘Miti Ni Mali’ Multi-dimensional Tree Planting initiative – Coming Soon

The YCCAN (Youths Climate Change Adaptation Network) will soon officially launch a new initiative.

The ‘Miti Ni Mali’ Million Tree Campaign will promote the multipurpose use of trees for peoples livelihood and for environmental conservation.

The aim is to help communities to realize the benefits of standing trees, not just for timber and firewood, working from a perspective of agroforestry and sustainable biomass and solar energy generation.

Full launch and further details coming soon.

Contact George Gituanja – – for any queries, in the meantime.

Fuel from Waste Participant News – Francis Kiilu – Community Waste Management and Briquetting

Kibera garbage - By Chrissy Olsen - used via a Creative Commons licence

This community group works under a church set up by the name “Recovery and Hope Ministries”.

Francis Kiilu, a Fuel from Waste participant and active member of the movement,  is the leader of the ministry and they have five branches in Kenya:

–       Nairobi (Kibera slums)

–       Mt. Elgon

–       Three  eastern province Matuu, Makutano and Machakos towns.

All the branches are involved in community activities. Nairobi (Kibera slums) branch is the youngest and the activities there focus on are the reduction of discarded solid waste into gain and small business enterprises. There is proposed activity of vocational training plus academic school to help to move toward the Kenya Vision 2030

Francis Kiilu explains the plan:


The plans we have are to buy plastic bags and distribute them to few plots surrounding our church. Train the people how to separate waste materials as they pack them in the separated bags supplied. The aim being to sell the materials, which can be recycled, turn into briquette the materials which can burn and sell the food surplus to pigs farms. At the moment we are contributing money towards the purchase of the plastic bags and briquette press machine. The moment we shall be well set for the activity.”

Contact Francis Kiilu at ‘Recovery and Hope Ministries’:

Fuel from Waste News – Kasarani Scouts – planting and briquetting work

Kasarani scout groups have been working on a planting and briquetting scheme that aims to plant 1.5 million trees and set up a system that supplies briquettes for their schools.

A pilot program will be run at the Baba Ndogo Secondary School.

The work has been supported by the Hut of Orphans of Kenya.

Video – The Scouts raise the Fuel from Waste banner:

Fuel from Waste Participant News – Dandora White Charcoal Youth Group – Feature in ‘The Standard’ Newspaper

The Standard Newspaper, in Kenya, recently ran a feature highlighting the fantastic work of the Dandora White Charcoal Youth Group. Peter Mwangi and Joseph Ndinya talk abou the genesis of the organisation, their environmental and social mission, their approach to entrepreneurship and their work with charities and NGOs (including Fuel from Waste, through their associates at Kenyatta University) in supporting and extending their mission.

“Eight years ago, Peter Mwangi and Joseph Ndinya stared at death. Mwangi was walking to a football pitch to join his friends in preparation for an upcoming football tournament when the police arrested him.

The policemen, he says, alleged that he was among the gang that terrorised motorists in the area — a claim he denied.

“They pointed a gun at me and I thought I was going to die. I was later released. They didn’t have evidence against me,” Mwangi recalls.

He says police have shot many young men in Dandora on similar allegations, some totally innocent.

The deadly incident completely changed the lives of the two from slum idlers to businessmen.

The duo are members of White Charcoal Youth Group located in Dandora. The youth group makes eco friendly charcoal from waste paper and saw dust.”

The full story can be read via the link above, or you can donwload a pdf version, here: Slum boys’ trade that is a ‘death’ armour – Dandora News