Over the past couple months, the briquette facility in Uganda has been operating for 4 hours a day, successfully producing clean burning briquettes from agricultural waste. But in the past couple weeks, COVID-19 has hit Uganda and resulted in a temporary change of plans. Here's what Peter wrote to Wren members:
"Two weeks ago we took the government's advice—upon Uganda getting one case [of COVID-19]—as a cue to move our work remote.
Between then and today, the government has gradually increased measures, from closing all Uganda's borders til end of April, to banning public transport and ordering all workplaces that do not produce food to shut down for two weeks.
We now have to dig in, and do as much remote work as possible until the resumption of work.
"If Wren payments continue to come through, it will bridge the gap and keep our team working."
We planned to begin working on upgrading the [briquette] manufacturing facility in April, but we now have to wait. The consultants who are working on our social impact assessment [a report to study the impact of actually giving the clean cooking fuel to the refugees in Uganda], cannot begin work on time, with airspace closed until the end of April.
However, once the systems reopen, hopefully with a reduction in cases, we should be able to ramp up production based on machinery available in country.
Our main need will be to continue funding the scale up and renewable electricity power source installation. If Wren payments continue to come through, it will bridge the gap and keep our team working."
It's a time of crisis, but we're glad to have Peter's positivity. We will get through this, and then we'll double down our efforts to prevent the next global crisis: climate change.
That's it for this update. As always, you can reply directly to this email if you have any questions. Stay safe! 🧡
- The Wren Team
Mimi, Landon, Ben, and Taylor