GreenTech – Environmental Solutions

Producing fuel briquettes from groundnut shells and fuel-efficient stoves for cooking
2011 SEED Award Winner Clean Energy Banjul, Gambia

GreenTech’s innovative use of groundnut shell briquettes in fuel-efficient stoves saves valuable forest resources and reduces greenhouse gas emissions. The technology not only saves users resources, time and effort, it also reduces the health risks from smoke exposure. GreenTech and its partners raise awareness about environmental issues, run demonstrations of their products and train people how to use them. They also educate the general public about environmental challenges. With the help of its innovative technology, GreenTech is responding to the escalating household energy crisis in the Gambia and pursuing a pro-poor concept with particular benefits for women. The product combination is a remarkable alternative to traditional charcoal use, especially in urban areas.

GreenTech Company Ltd is determined to provide affordable environmental solutions to The Gambia and beyond. Just established at the beginning of 2011, GreenTech started in August 2011 to press high quality fuel briquettes from groundnutshells and to research, design and promote fuel-efficient stoves, which are now produced by local welders from recycled metal. The use of fuel briquettes and fuel-efficient stoves, coupled with a 20 minute user training, seems to be the winning combination to provide an eco-friendly and economic alternative to the traditional, but inefficient cooking with charcoal or firewood in open stoves and fireplaces.

GreenTech is also determined to improve livelihoods at large, not only through employment, but also through the quality and design of its products and services. The combined use of briquettes in fuel-efficient stoves also saves time and effort for the cooks: Briquettes in fuel-efficient stoves cook a meal faster than on the traditional charcoal setting. GreenTech's innovative cooking unit also emits less visible smoke than the traditional firewood setting. These are especially benefits for women and children, who are most involved in the cooking process. After all, switching from charcoal in an open stove to briquettes in fuel-efficient stoves can save a family 60% of their cooking fuel cost - providing savings that could well be spend on education or health matters.

The briquettes can also be used in restaurants, cantines or industries using heat from biomass for boilers or smokeries. Nevertheless, GreenTech realised that a lot of sensitisation efforts are still lying ahead to convince potential users of the environmental and economic advantages. Therefore, diverse potential partners, who could also benefit from GreenTech's innovation, were contacted and following institutions responded with creative and promising proposals from their side for cooperate activities at the time, the SEED Award was announced.

GLOBAL UNIFICATION THE GAMBIA -YOUTH FOR ENVIRONMENTAL ADVOCACY

As GreenTech management has been involved in the environmental sector even before the company was established, it has connection with Global Unification Gambia, a youth-led research organization with focus on an environmental advocacy from the beginning. Thus, plans have been developed for corporate sensitisation campaigns and actions. Currently, the Eco-Challenge, an inter-school competition, is in the making and more environmental activities at schools are on the plan. Further, multimedia activities, as radio programs, internet presentations and video clips are scheduled. The corporation is a win situation for sides, sharing resources, experiences and ideas to achieve optimum efficiency. SCHOOL AGRICULTURE AND FOOD MANAGEMENT UNIT (SAFMU) OF THE DEPARTMENT OF BASIC AND SECONDARY EDUCATION Sensitising the future generation.

Eco-Inclusive Impacts

GreenTech provides an alternative to firewood and charcoal for domestic cooking and industrial heating leading to fewer carbon emissions at the same time improving the health of women and children.
  • Generating fewer emissions and smoke, which has particular health benefits for women and children.
  • Increasing the number of jobs in production and sales as demand for the products increase.

  • Creating fuel briquettes equivalent to all the charcoal currently used in the main urban area.
  • Using groundnut shell briquettes in fuel-efficient stoves, reducing emissions, conserving local forests and supporting waste management.
  • Using technology that saves households or industrial enterprise two-thirds of their cooking or heating fuel expenses.
  • Providing new sources of income for young people and women.

Partners

This enterprise is supported through its partnerships with various stakeholders, ranging from national and international organisations, investors, research institutes, suppliers, governmental bodies, NGOs, other social and environmental enterprises and more.

Global Unification-The Gambia works with GreenTech to raise awareness of environmental issues and promote sustainable solutions.

The Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education / Food and Agriculture Management Unit pilots GreenTech products in school feeding programmes and to work with GreenTech in the area of environmental education.

Ngyanya Killing Women Self Support Group / Hands-on Care is interested in using their women’s groups for sales and raising environmental awareness.

The Green Mamba Garden Restaurant successfully functions as sampling, testing and training site for GreenTech products, promoting a fuel-efficient stove donation scheme to tourists.

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Lenja Guenther
c/o Tabbal, Box 464, PO Banjul
Banjul, Gambia
Tel: 00220-6762622, 00220-6662622, 00220-7811118

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