Amelia Ritger ’15 is one of the members of the Thayer School of Engineering’s Dartmouth Humanitarian Engineering (DHE) group who spent the summer in Tanzania, working to improve the health and environmental conditions in communities in the East African country, reports The Record-Courier.
The article explains that Ritger and her peers taught Tanzanians how to make an inexpensive fuel source for cooking, as an alternative to burning firewood or using charcoal. “You take loose sticks, leaves, charcoal dust, sawdust, add water and press them into donut-shaped briquettes that can be used for cooking,” Ritger told The Record Courier. “If you make enough you can sell them. We taught them how to build the press and compost the materials and make the briquettes. We had a lot of people interested in them which was good.
“Now that they have this technology our hope is they will have lower fuel costs per week,” says Ritger. “What DHE is trying to do is reduce acute respiratory infection and firewood use to help the environment. When these women are cooking inside their homes it releases a lot of smoke. Briquetting reduces the amount of smoke and need for firewood.”
A subscription is required to read the full story, published 9/5/12 in The Record-Courier.