Ahmee participated in one of the project’s briquette production training sessions on 5th March 2012. After the training at the briquette factory, which is located in Baan Pang-Sa, she understands it is an alternative energy project.
Currently the Pang-Sa villagers are mostly employed by agricultural plantations and involved with the cultivation of rice and corn. The fact that the factory is located in their village will allow the community to access additional employment opportunities and sell local resources to produce the briquettes, such as corn cobs that produce high yields in Pang-Sa, every year. Currently, after the corn seeds are taken off, the cobs are burned. This activity causes smoke pollution. The government launched a campaign about forest fires, requesting cooperation from the public to not burn garbage, agricultural waste, twigs or grass, but people do not have an alternative way to effectively dispose of these types of waste.
If agricultural waste, such as corn cobs, is utilized to produce briquettes, Ahmee thinks this is a useful way to reduce the smoke pollution in the area.
Moreover, Ahmee has had a chance to use the trial briquettes which were produced during the training program. She compared the project’s briquettes to normal firewood and found that the briquettes are more flammable and produce a stronger heat than ordinary firewood. While cooking with the briquettes she only had to light the briquettes once and was able to leave the fire unattended to do other things. Whereas she needed to continually add to the firewood to keep it burning before. In addition, small pieces of briquette can be recycled after use in the briquette production process, compared to firewood which cannot be reused, and the trial briquettes produce less smoke than firewood leading to a better environment.
ActionAid Thailand together with HADF (Hill Area and Community Development Foundation), our partner are working closely for the 'Waste to Energy for Economic Development and Environment Health Project' to demonstrate the efficiency of alternative fuel sources as a means of sustainable environmental conservation.
The purpose of the project is to demonstrate the efficiency of alternative, readily available, and cost-effective fuel sources as a means of environmental conservation. The alternative fuel sources that the project will promote is the manufacturing and use of solid fuel briquettes made from agricultural and other waste. The utilization of the briquettes at both domestic and small industry levels will reduce the need for the Pa Tueng (Chiangrai Province, Thailand) residents to take wood from the sub-district’s natural forests to use as a source of fuel.
Interview and photo by: Mr. Terapun Kuntawung
Field Programme Officer, Waste to Energy for Economic Development and Environmental Health
Complied by: Mr. Kulachart Daengdej, Programme Officer, ActionAid-Thailand