A First for Zambia

Shared Value Africa (SVA) is a social enterprise offering products and services throughout Sub-Saharan Africa. SVA specialises in increasing crop yields and income for the small-scale rural Zambian farmer through improved sustainable farming practices, focusing on agroforestry. In association with Musika they have bought a TOMCAT Model 2500 AFE wood chipper – the first chipper hydraulic-feed wood chipper we know of in Zambia.

The Dilemma

According to government statistics figures show that 85 percent of households in the capital Lusaka rely on charcoal, which makes charcoal the main commercial wood fuel in Zambia. This urban demand for an inexpensive fuel puts huge pressure on the forests as there is a great loss of weight during the manufacturing process. For example 8.8 tons of wood are needed to produce a maximum of only 1 ton charcoal. The average annual consumption of an typical household will be in the region of 1.4 tons of charcoal. During the manufacturing of charcoal a great deal of wood is lost in the process and CO² is given off. The biggest problem is that the charcoal does not burn cleanly and gives off harmful CO² gas, exposing everyone to danger and creating a health hazard.

The Solution

SVA have come up with a superb idea of selling affordable gas stoves to rural communities and using wood chips as fuel. The wood chip burns with a clean flame inside the stove without any smoke in the room while burning. SVA acquired our wood chipper to produce wood chips they can dry, bag and then distribute throughout the rural parts of Lusaka. They also have access to 1000s of tons of sawmill waste up in the Copper-belt which means they can re-use wood that previously had no purpose! Other benefits include job opportunities, minimising deforestation, and improving the health of the rural community by supplying them with a stove that burns with fewer emissions and results in less harmful gas being emitted.

We thank the two directors John Fay & Samuel Bell of Shared Value Africa in association with Musika Development for their loyal support. We at TOMCAT Chippers wish them all of the best with their enterprise and will give them all the back-up and after-sales support we can from our side! Visit their website on www.sharedvalueafrica.com for more info.