Douala - Africa

Kemit Ecology: Student-led initiative to produce ‘green’ coal

  • |
  • |
  • |

In 2012, a group of students from the Cameroonian city of Douala tried to find solutions to protect the mangrove. In light of the lack of fuel, the locals of the region cut the mangrove which is vital to the ecosystem. The young students engaged in research to find solutions and end up finding a means to solve several problems simultaneously.

Practical Solutions to Real Problems

“We conducted studies on the Douala region and we found the clear result that 79% of the locals use wood or coal as a source of domestic energy. The problem is that these are sources that aggravate deforestation in our region: mangrove wood is so sought-after that it is declining. It is either cut or burned directly in the woods to extract charcoal. From another perspective, we also found amounts of compost heaps that pollute Douala. We wondered if we could kill two birds with one stone through the creation of a new source of energy emanating from waste. We left no stone unturned and we toured markets and households using our tricycles and wheelbarrows to collect waste including banana peels, cassava and coffee scraps with the aim of making a new type of ecological coal,” Myller Tenkey Nandou, the project founder, said.

When we tell them “this is your waste”, they do not return!

The goal of the initiative goes beyond the simple identification of the problems to be solved. Because it strives to experiment and test several formula before finding the optimal means. In order to make green coal, there is a need first to leave the waste to dry in the sun. Afterwards, it should be placed in ovens for carbonisation purposes. Then, the resulting power needs to be conditioned to obtain a homogeneous outcome. At the end of the process, TenkeuNandou and his companions reach the stage of green coal production, which represents a big success in the region and beyond.

This is understood when we learn that the final product is less expensive than conventional charcoal, in addition to its advantages in releasing less smoke during combustion. “ in the beginning people who provided us with waste did not understand what we were going to do. But, when we returned to them with the coal telling them that it was extracted from their waste, they did not return!” said the project founder.
By transforming a vicious circle into a productive one we make the world a better place and that is exactly what Kemit Ecology managed to do. Congratulations!


Nandou Tenkeu Müller


Gyula Ben

Production director





Around two thirds of kitchens around the world use wood or charcoal. Wood represents a key source of energy that is more important than oil for a large part of humanity. This has a detrimental impact on forests, because trees, from which locals extract coal, are illegally cut for wood in order to be sold in the industrialized world.




Source :



60 million dirhams were earmarked for the distribution of 60,000 stoves in rural areas. Currently, 2000 multi-purpose stoves were distributed to isolated families in difficult conditions. The 60,000 stoves will be distributed in order to save 150,000 tonnes of wood annually in the next ten years, which equals 4000 hectares of woods.




Source :


A Turkish initiative to raise the awareness of local administrations

Elected officials and territorial administrations are key actors in the transition towards new more sustainable life styles. It is the conviction of the very active Turkish fo...

Casablanca: A wasteland in Sidi Moumen becomes a school garden

It is a story of the transformation of a large piece of land in Casablanca. The area of 2500m² is located between the social centre Oum Keltoum and the cultural complex El Gha...

Benin’s Jura-Afrique : Listen to better sensitize

The activities of the NGO Jura-Afrique are confined in the north of Benin in the departments of Atacora and Donga. Benin’s Jura-Afrique undertakes the initiative of setting up...

Morocco has a tribe of ecologists for a citizen contribution to the reforestation of forests

It was not called “Tribe of ecologists” for nothing. Axed around environmental issues especially those related to the kingdom’s natural heritages, this community was launched ...