Briquettes for Cooking

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The purpose of the Star Initiative organization in Vihiga County, Kenya is to train young mothers in the production of briquettes to be used in households for cooking purposes. Many women throughout the county spend most of their time cutting down trees to obtain firewood. The firewood and charcoal produce indoor air pollution, one of the leading causes of the 400,000 deaths from respiratory diseases that occur each year in sub-Saharan Africa. Briquettes, made by mixing cow dung, water and soil which is shaped and molded into little bricks, produce very little carbon dioxide and no hazardous soot. With our support, more than 50 women will be trained and supplied with equipment to produce briquettes for their community. The production and use of briquettes will not only allow young mothers to spend more time farming and raising their children, rather than spending hours collecting the firewood and needlessly cutting down trees, but will also reduce the number of children suffering from respiratory infections which require expensive treatments and lead to school absenteeism and ultimately to high drop-out rates.