Many households in Rwanda use charcoal for cooking, which leads to health and environmental problems. For example, deforestation for charcoal leads to climate change and environmental problems like erosion, which affects the local population. Cooking with pellets is cleaner, safer, faster, and cheaper than traditional cooking methods.
Many Rwandan urban households use charcoal for cooking, while it is unhealthy and expensive. It causes indoor air pollution, which leads to major health damage for women and children. Moreover, collecting firewood takes a lot of time and causes deforestation in Rwanda, leading to erosion and landslides affecting the local rural population. The inefficient production and consumption of charcoal leads to unnecessarily high CO₂ emissions. About 8 kilos of wood is needed to produce 1 kilo of charcoal. Pellets are produced much more efficiently; about 1.5 kilos of sawdust can be used to make 1 kilo of pellets. They are the affordable alternative that can make a difference.
The implementation of pellet cooking in Rwanda brings many benefits related to health, climate and environment, social aspects, and the economy. Pellet cooking is cleaner, faster, more convenient, and more affordable than charcoal. Moreover, raw materials for pellet production can be sourced locally. This stimulates local economic development and reduces dependency on imported energy solutions. The materials consist of substances like wood or organic waste materials, thereby creating a circular solution. Furthermore, many green jobs are created within the value chain of the project. Pellets offer opportunities for entrepreneurs, farmers, and young graduates – especially women – to enter a new sector that offers opportunities in domestic and foreign trade.
The total impact of the project
x million kilos of wood saved
x thousand people reached
x thousand tonnes of CO₂ reduction
The project in detail
FairClimateFund, BioMassters Ltd., Mimi Moto, BIX Capital and TRAIDE, set up a local partnership called ‘Partners in Pellets’. The partnership has set up a clean cooking project in which pellets and Tier-4 gasifier stoves are used. The pellets can be produced from waste materials, such as sawdust or other woody agricultural byproducts and coffee husk. The materials are compressed into small cylinders. Developing a pellet market and using a clean gasifier stove leads to solutions for households across various income levels. Besides that, the use of these cookstoves is beneficial to SMEs, such as small restaurants.
To establish a thriving ecosystem in which more households use pellets for cooking, Partners in Pellets centers around multiple activities. Every partner brings in their own unique expertise, from producing pellets or cookstoves to giving training or developing a carbon credit methodology.