Walking through the villages of Southern Uganda, it’s hard not to be swept away by the beautiful landscapes, however there is also a very apparent lack of clutter on the streets. Most people in Uganda don’t have access to electricity; therefore everything that can be burnt is collected for firewood.
In Sub-Sahara Africa, over 80% of the population rely primarily on solid biomass to meet basic household needs, such as cooking and lighting. This includes firewood, charcoal and agricultural byproducts, and accounts for 74% of the total energy consumption for Africa, which is significantly higher than other developing countries.
This is why we are looking at more sustainable options and installing biogas digesters in each of our new school builds! Waste from the school toilets is collected in the “digester”, and as the microbes break down they create methane. The methane gas is then captured in the pipes and pumped up towards the school kitchen and used daily to cook meals for the students. Pretty cool right?!
So what exactly are the benefits of Biogas?
- It’s a renewable source of energy, it only depletes when waste stops being produced!
- It’s non-polluting
- Reduces Landfills
- Cost effective technology
- And helps create jobs
Women and children typically spend hours searching for firewood for cooking, which means they are also breathing in smoke and soot. The use of these digesters however is helping reduce the risk of disease caused by air pollution.
The effective long term running of the biogas digesters requires community participation, so we’re currently working with locals to educate them on how to maintain the plant.
Stay tuned for another update on this exciting sustainability project!