They are four young students of the University of Douala. Once a week, they visit markets and the streets of Douala to pick up garbage.
They created in 2014, a small business called Kemit Ecology, with one goal, to fight against deforestation and environmental pollution.
“The idea of clean coal came to us because we realized that people in the mangroves where we settled and cut mangrove wood for smoking fish and the other to cut into coal. And we said, but if they can also turn into coal from garbage, why not give them this coal which is 100% more environmental because it does not pollute. So we get to solve the mangrove degradation problem,” Muller Tenkeu Rhea, Kemit Ecology (white knit) Project Sponsor said.
Here in the Douala central market, traders have abandoned leaves and vegetable waste. But it remains a gold mine for those young people who go into a new energy source.
“All these are biodegradable organic wastes. Inside we have plantain skins, banana skins, it has leaves, but the scrap of sugar cane, oil palm waste, rattan and agricultural scrap howsoever provided that they are biodegradable and organic,” Muller Tenkeu Rhea added.
At the area that Kemit Ecology has created its small production unit, garbage is spread and dried in the sun.
“We cut for drying. The rods have a large amount of water. So you have to cut them into small pieces that can dry easily and ease charring,” Eric Martial Ndzodo of Kemit Ecology said.
Once dried, the vegetable waste are reduced to ashes in a carbonization furnace. The black powder that emerges is packaged in a compactor. After ten minutes it appears in homogeneous bricks, and good ecological char.
“We dry them through our dryer. The dryer, we move to the carbonization unit for pyrolysis. Using our machine, we get our briquettes here. Clean coal,” Raoul Eboule of Kemit Ecology said.
Kemit Ecology hope that with the production of clean coal, the forest of mangroves, including the one that protects the banks of the Wouri River in Douala will be spared savage cuts of the people who use them for firewood.
“Our first carbon has several advantages to the environment. The first advantage is that it avoids deforestation and degradation of forests for the production of charcoal and the second advantage is that it effectively fights against the harmful effects of climate change.
This activity is not yet profitable. A kilogram of clean coal sells for 500 FCFA. The production is on average 5 tonnes per month. And these young people hope to mobilize financing to enable them to acquire the equipment necessary for a great production,” Muller Tenkeu Rhea, Kemit Ecology said.
These young people are the pioneers in the field in Cameroon. They believe the mass production of this clean coal will in the long term, not only make profits but also protect Cameroonian forests.