MAA Briquettes

Congratulations! This Entry has been selected as a semifinalist.

MAA Briquettes : Renewable energy protects the environment

Narok , KenyaNairobi , Kenya
Year Founded:
2013
Organization type: 
for profit
Project Stage:
Scaling
Budget: 
$250,000 - $500,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

My innovation was inspired to provide an alternative means of energy. It is a simple idea that uses charcoal dust, maize cobs a and waste vegetable matter to make smokeless briquettes which are dried and then sold for fuel.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

We could make fuel affordable for everyone
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

In Narok most people earn less than two dollars per day. My project therefore seeks to help these people and many other underprivileged to survive. The products were tailored to meet the needs of women and the youth who need alternative source of cheap fuel.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

The solution is a simple idea that uses charcoal dust, maize cobs and maize cobs and waste vegetable matter to make smokeless briquettes which are dried and then sold for fuel.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

Bearing in mind that a huge percentage of my community lives below a dollar per day, I had to come up with a product that is affordable and easily accessible. I was also keen to offer a long-lasting fuel solution that was eco-friendly and could be used by all.The MAA Briquettes are smoke free and reduce deforestation because most of the people who used to use firewood now prefer the briquettes for fuel. Moreover, I don’t need to invest a lot of time to teach people how to use the briquettes because its straight forward. Unlike Biogas, it’s cheaper to purchase and does not need installation classes for the users, anyone can use it including the elderly women who would alternatively struggle to get cheap fuel for daily consumption

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

Since the MAA Briquette project began in 2013, I have managed to reach well over 500 households. This has been because of recurring clients who talk about the benefits of using briquettes. My project has also helped to reduce deforestation significantly. Initially 10 trees would be cut daily for fuel. Currently its only 1 or 2 per week. My hope is that this number comes to 0 because the cutting of trees harshly affects the Mau forest which in turn affects the flow of water into the other parts of the county.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

The MAA Briquette has the potential to impact 850,000 people in and outside Narok, this can be achieved if the production of briquettes is increased. So far, i-marketing is via social media where we state whether the Briquettes are ready for purchase. If MAA Briquette adopt a large scale production system we will always have enough to meet the clients demands. As it is clients walk for long to get the purchase because not many people produce briquettes of high quality. For this reason, I would like to expand the business and have multiple locations where customers can access the briquettes
Sustainability

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

I took a loan from a local bank to purchase the Briquette machine. So far I have been able to facilitate the loan through the returns and also through training other people on how to make the briquettes. I also won the 2014 Green Innovation Awards which has enabled me to get technical assistance in terms of planning although I need more partnership to better the business in future

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

Biogas solution is another alternative energy i.e.Flexi biogas -www.biogas.co.ke/ and Takamoto Biogas-takamotobiogas.com/ however the installation of their products is expensive considering that a huge number of the community lives below a dollar a day and do not have cattle which provide the raw materials for biogas fuel. Moreover it is believed that cows need to be fed and hence deforestation is encouraged to meet this need. The briquettes are affordable, smoke free and reduce deforestation and understands the Narok market place.
Team

Founding Story

Upon graduating from Kenyatta University, it was extremely challenging to find employment in the Nairobi city. For this reason, George went back to his home town and learnt that his community struggled to get fuel. Charcoal was expensive and caused a lot of respiratory complications. This was when the idea of Maa Briquettes was born. George sought to create an environmental solution for his community. He noted that many people in his village either used dried branches or opted for charcoal as fuel. These choices he said “were very toxic to the environment and to the respiratory health of his community”. Even more astonishing was the rate at which vegetation and trees were being cut for use as fuel wood.

Team

Edward .N. Karaya
About You
About You
First Name

George

Last Name

Mochu

About Your Project
Organization Name
How long has your organization been operating?

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Project
Organization Country

, Nairobi

Country where this project is creating social impact

, Narok

Funding: How is your project financial supported?

Supplemental
Awards: What awards or honors has the project received?

The project was won First place award in the Small and Medium Enterprises category in the 2014 NETFUND Green Innovations Awards

Where have you learnt about the competition?

Through Ngusale Imali

Tell us about your partnerships:

Maa Briquettes is currently looking for partnerships. so far we have good will support from the National Environment Trust Fund from Kenya and the Kenya Climate Change Innovation Center which will assist in creating a feasible work-plan. We hope to partner with like minded ventures locally, regionally and internationally

Challenges: What challenges might hinder the success of your project and how do you plan to overcome them?

It has been challenging to revamp the sole proprietor business into a company. This has been attributed to the numerous pre-requisites that necessitate this move and the capital required for expansion. For us to be considered as a company a lot of investment has to be put in place i.e. licensing, upscaling equipments and mentors are needed