Mudassar ul Mulk is a bio-briquette expert trained by the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) and works in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Gilgit- Baltistan, Pakistan. Many organizations request him to train people in their project area. His enterprise is highly successful and he is earning a good income. Mr ul Mulk is on ICIMOD’s roster of experts in bio-briquette production. He trains locals and provides them with equipment for bio-briquette production. Recently, he was also hired as a trainer by the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) for a two-day training on bio-briquette production, to train poor women in Hazara Division of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. BISP took this training in order to reduce pressure on rangelands and forests for fuelwood, by promoting an alternative source of fuel. The training focuses on using invasive plant species in rangelands to make briquettes, which makes the production cost effective and ecologically sustainable.
After observing bio-briquettes and other sustainable technologies at the ICIMOD Knowledge Park at Godavari in March, Marvi Memon, chairperson of BISP, had promised to provide this training to community members in her native province. At the training, Ms Memon noted that women in the village could easily make bio-briquettes since it involved a simple and inexpensive technology.
In May this year, the training will also be conducted in Gilgit-Baltistan in two venues – Central Hunza and Sost or Passu villages – with support from the Forest Wildlife and Environment Department.
Back in 2014, staff members of the Institute of Sustainable Technology Development (ISTD) in Pakistan attended a training of trainers (TOT) on bio-briquette production at the ICIMOD Knowledge Park at Godavari in Kathmandu, Nepal. The training aimed to promote bio-briquette as an alternative source of energy for cooking and heating. After receiving the TOT, ISTD staff trained local communities in Haripur village in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province, Pakistan. The villagers were also provided briquette-making equipment through local organizations.