Heifer International’s Uganda Domestic Biogas Program has drastically changed the lives of many Ugandans. The instillation of the biogas units (12,000 over five years) is not only bringing jobs, revenue, and efficiency to the people of Uganda, it also cutting down on pollution.
The biogas program works with readily available resources to provide Ugandans with essentials to improve quality of life. The units convert animal manure into clean and cheaper energy. This energy can be used as electricity for lighting and cooking. Not only is this a cleaner option than using kerosene lamps and burning charcoal and wood, it is also much cheaper. Households are now able to save the money they would have spent on firewood and charcoal, as well as healthcare expenses they may have been forced to pay from contracting illnesses related to breathing in unclean air.
This program teaches masonry skills and provides jobs to men and women. These masonry skills are transferrable to future jobs and have even attracted many young people. The energy has also afforded new business options for Ugandans small business owners.
The biogas program also benefits environment as it stops deforestation by reducing the need for wood and charcoal. It also cuts down on harmful burning fumes. Bio-slurry, which is a byproduct of the process, can also be uses as a fertilizer as it is much cheaper and more effective than other options on the market. Bio-slurry is organic and has resulted in higher crop yields and better-enriched soil than can continue producing crops in future years. Some households have even been able to sell excess bio-slurry to neighbors and colleagues to gain extra income.
Uganda is one of six African countries in the Africa Biogas Partnership Program (ABPP). Including Kenya, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Burkina Faso, Uganda, and Senegal, the ABPP’s goal is to fund 70,000 biogas units across these countries by the end of 2013 to bring much-needed revenue to people.
– Sarah C. Morris
Sources: Tanzanian Domestic Biogas Programme, Electrify Africa Act
Photo: The Global Journal