The FAO estimates that 2.4 billion people depend on wood energy for cooking and heating.  In African countries the proportion of people using wood fuels as a main or only source of energy can be startling. Ninety percent of the population in Sierra Leone are estimated to rely on charcoal or firewood for energy, and 85% in Mali. In Madagascar, Senegal, Chad and Niger, the figures are similar.  In urban areas the trend is from wood towards charcoal.  Charcoal stoves are more efficient than wood stoves, but charcoal producers continue to damage or destroy woodland and forest habitats as they fell trees for their raw material.  Biochar can help.  Biochar stoves are super efficient, heating water and cooking using small quantities of small pieces of wood and twigs.

As well as the habitat degradation that is avoided by the use of biochar stoves, they are cleaner to use, creating very little smoke.  Good for the environment : good for family health.

The Biochar Action sheet / A vous d’agir #88, explains what biochar is, how to make and use a simple biochar stove, and how to  use the biochar as a soil improver, for filtering water and other applications.

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