Charcoal making: a livelihood that requires more planted trees
The smell of charcoal making is pungent, unmistakable and in many respects, a wholesome, earthy smell. Charcoal is easier to transport to market, easier to use in the kitchen and causes less respiratory problems in closed spaces. Charcoal making is an ancient craft requiring virtually no technology with skills varying according to climate and species. Its efficiency in converting raw biomass into concentrated KJ energy can be greatly improved via simple, or specialized kilns.
Charcoal making from plantation thinnings or trees with little timber value provides jobs. But does charcoal making from the last rainforest giants, as they fall and are cleared for “improved” agriculture is not a sustainable livelihood.
- Making charcoal by heaping logs and covering with soil
This carbon neutral, renewable energy source will disappear, unless more trees are planted very soon in Liberia and elsewhere.
Read more about charcoal making in Liberia as reported this year by the BBC Africa
A family makes charcoal from remnant forest trees by the side of the main road, about 2 km from Gbobayee Village