Saving Trees, Improving Lives


Uganda is expected to have no trees left by 2050. As the population grows and the rate of deforestation accelerates, the walk for firewood grows ever further as surrounding village trees are chopped down. Amigos, a charity based in the South West of England, is keenly aware of this fact and at their development centre in Uganda, 20 miles north from Kampala, they are teaching young people energy efficient and environmentally friendly solutions.


At Kira Farm Development Centre 40 trainees, every year, learn how to build mud stoves which use 60 per cent less wood than a traditional three stone fire. As they graduate from the Centre they take their stove-building expertise back to their villages, spreading knowledge, saving trees and improving health.


At the Centre trainees also learn how to make charcoal from waste maize cobs. Most rural households throw away their cobs after shelling the corn, but if they are loaded into a kiln, sealed and left to cool for a few hours, they turn into free fuel. Cob charcoal is a great way to make use of a waste produce, prevent deforestation and save time and money.


Another great fuel-saving device are solar lamps – every home needs to be free from the risk of fire and toxic fumes from kerosene lamps. One of the other main benefits is the ability for school children to do homework. (Uganda in on the equator, its gets dark at 7pm all year round).


‘Environmentally-friendly technology is central to our vision for developing Uganda in a sustainable and responsible way,’ says Phil Pugsley, CEO of Amigos. ‘By modelling and providing training in these technologies we hope Kira trainees will spread this knowledge and adopt this approach throughout Uganda.’ Find out more at


The above Blog article was written by Phil Pugsley, who we met recently at the Gold Coast Ocean Fest.    We were very interested to hear about Amigos work in Uganda assisting people with technologies which will benefit the local population and the environment.  As a result, we asked Phil to write this guest article for our website.