Bamboo as sustainable biomass energy: A suitable alternative for firewood and charcoal production in Africa
Funded by the European Commission (EC), this four-year (2009-2013) project is the first to develop bamboo firewood and charcoal as an alternative to timber charcoal in the region. The overall objective is to increase the use of bamboo as a source of energy for the poor of Ethiopia and Ghana thereby providing a more sustainable, environmentally friendly and economical option to firewood and wood charcoal. It will increase the range of useable bamboos available in each country, establish bamboo charcoal Micro and Small Enterprises (MSEs), and help government and civil society organisations support bamboo firewood and charcoal production and use. The experiences from the programme will be applicable throughout the bamboo-growing regions of Africa.
The project partners include the Rural Energy Development and Promotion Centre(EREDPC), Ethiopia; Federal Micro and Small Enterprises Development Agency(FeMSEDA), Ethiopia; Forestry Research Institute of Ghana(FORIG), Ghana; Bamboo and Rattan Development Programme(BARADEP), Ghana; Nanjing Forestry University(NFU), China. The programme will work in Benishangul-Gumuz State, Amhara National Regional State and Southern Nations Nationalities and Peoples Regional State in Ethiopia and Western region, Ghana to develop at least 1,000 enterprises producing bamboo charcoal, and 30, 000 households using it. It will train over 6,000 people in bamboo cultivation, best bamboo firewood practices and bamboo charcoal production, set up three bamboo charcoal technology centres and develop marketing strategies for bamboo charcoal.