TURNING SAWDUST INTO COOKING FUEL: AN OPERATIONAL FRAMEWORK FOR A BRIQUETTE PLANT AT SOKOBAN WOOD VILLAGE, KUMASI
Energy is a key requirement for socio-economic development. However, the utilization of energy must not be at the expense of the environment and the future. One way of reducing dependence on biomassas a source of energy is to promote the use of briquettes by homes and industries. This study examined the feasibility of establishing and managing a briquette manufacturing plant at the Sokoban Wood Village, a leading wood industrial estate in Kumasi, Ghana. Using qualitative approach, a total of fifteen woodworkers and one technical officer were interviewed on the feasibility of such a project, availability of sawdust, and the ideal management structure for the project. Data were analysed by capturing the key themes and modes in responses, highlighting issues of contrasts and similarities, and supported by direct quotes. The results indicate that the setting up of plants to overturn sawdust into briquettes is highly feasible and would receive support and cooperation from saw millers and woodworkers. However, for ease of access and to ensure a more integrated system, such a plant should be sited at or close to the saw mill or wood village. Thirdly, it is argued that for such a plant to run effectively, operators must be recruited from among the woodworkers and trained on operational dynamics and maintenance. The management of the facility to exercise oversight responsibility should be broad-based and inclusive and drawn from the local assembly (KMA), representatives of the wood workers, and the funding/implementing agency. The study concludes that the establishment of briquette producing plants using this model is feasible and should be encouraged by stakeholders, including Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs).
Energy, Sawdust, Briquette, Environment, Biomass, Management