Faculty Advisor

Belz, Melissa

Faculty Advisor

Hersh, Robert

Project Center



Our project advanced the uptake of a sustainable firewood alternative in the informal settlements of Katutura, Namibia. The small business enterprise of a burnable paper block will reduce unemployment and combat desertification. We worked with Men on the Side of the Road (MSR) to improve upon the paper block’s performance and created a new business model to promote its use. We conducted interviews with the local community exploring the current domestic fuel use, tested old and new versions of the paper block, and determined how it could best be brought to market. We created a new block design with improved burning capabilities, trained local MSR members in its production, and developed a viable community business model.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

May 2014

Project Type

Interactive Qualifying Project



Advisor Department

Interdisciplinary Programs