Can a low-cost, low-waste energy-producing model truly transform the lives of refugee communities in Uganda?
In 2020, Creating Hope in Conflict: A Humanitarian Grand Challenge backed the vision of Mandulis Energy, at the time a budding renewable energy company, founded in 2019, that promised to address the lack of clean, affordable and sustainable energy sources for the over 2 million people living in refugee resettlements and host communities in Uganda.
Four years since they began, they’ve proved that the answer to the question is a resounding yes.
Through the trials of COVID and the unpredictable global economic landscape that followed, Mandulis Energy has implemented their model in multiple Ugandan communities.
As part of its SEPARLE initiative, Mandulis Energy has designed and manufactured a fully operational briquette making machine that converts agricultural processing residues into clean cooking wood replacement non-carbonized briquettes. Through this project, Mandulis Energy has also developed, designed and manufactured a fully scalable affordable clean gasifier cookstove which it has distributed alongside affordable clean cooking briquettes to families across the refugee hosting districts and refugee settlements of Adjumani, Kiryandongo, and Lamwo in Uganda.
A total of 7,941 end users have received high quality clean cooking biomass briquettes at below the price of charcoal or firewood and/or been given access to electricity from the biomass gasification plant. Farmers have also received training in the sale of post-harvest waste residues to improve rural household incomes, and in how to use gasifier cookstoves to convert biomass briquettes into biochar for use as an organic fertilizer component. Among the users of Mandulis’ services are 3,046 individuals who have received additional sources of income through selling carbonised residues and/or launching/expanding retail businesses with the newly available electricity from Mandulis Energy’s Biomass/Biogas Solar PV Hybrid mini-grid.
In this series of videos, a staff member breaks down the work done at their minigrid, and residents and clients share how Mandulis Energy has impacted their work and community.
Mandulis Energy: Quality, Affordable Power at Grid Parity
What is the Biomass Hybrid Minigrid and how does it work? Raymond, a Technical Manager at the minigrid, breaks down the process.
“The beginning of something is always hard”: Kyakuhaire Justine’s Story
Kyakuhaire Justine is a retailer and farmer in GotNgur, Kiryandongo, where community members were sensitized to and welcomed sustainable, cost-effective briquettes as a replacement for firewood and charcoal.
“I embraced this because…I am a farmer and briquettes are received from crop residue, meaning that it’s sustainable to use briquettes as compared to firewood and charcoal. 20 acres of trees were cut between 2007-2023, and if we continue, what will happen? Environmental degradation will increase the negative impacts of climate change.”
“We’re enjoying”: Access to Affordable Productive Energy has transformed GotNgur, Kiryandongo
Community members share how access to sustainable energy has transformed their businesses and quality of lives.