Article by William Ssendagire,UDBP- Heifer International Uganda, October 2013
Worldwide, access to energy offers families clear opportunities to improve living conditions mitigate climate change effects and start businesses. Biogas projects for small-scale biogas production provide attractive interventions for community development, not only due to solving the energy crisis but also provision of multi-benefits and/ or opportunities associated with the projects. Decentralized energy systems such as biogas are a driving force for local economic development, especially in the rural areas. The systems rely on small-scale generation of energy from renewable sources to allow consumers to become producers themselves.
The installed biogas digesters have contributed tremendously to the mitigation of climate change effects through direct reductions in deforestation and GHG emissions equivalent to 435 hectares of forest and 52,204 tons Co2 equivalent respectively. In addition, they have empowered households to reduce dependency on biomass and fossil fuels indirectly through fuel substitutions equivalent to 10.7 tons biomass and 391.8 tons fossil fuels. Households which own the biogas digesters can no longer degrade forests by cutting down trees to obtain firewood or make charcoal since they have an alternative energy source which is also clean.
Socio-economically, the digester installations have contributed to reductions in the workload of 1,087 person years for women and children and indoor air pollution for 25,510 persons (women and children). The reduction in the workload has availed to women to engage in other productive activities especially by women and time for resting and leisure has been created for both women and children since they are no longer spending it in trekking to the forests to gather firewood. The health status of women and children has tremendously improved; women & girls cook in smoke free environment which reduces the risk of contracting respiratory diseases like coughs and the children read books while at home under clean and bright light.
The digester installations have also contributed to generation of direct employment for more than 200 youths who are directly engaged in the construction of biogas digesters and fabrication of biogas appliances. In addition, employment has been created for biogas construction companies who are fabricating biogas appliances (biogas stoves, lamps and dome viagra online overnight pipes) and hard ware shop operators who are supplying biogas construction materials (cement, pipes, fittings and others).
Improvement in home hygiene and sanitation among the 5000 households due to proper waste (animals and humans) management has been realized. Households have experienced tremendous reductions in odours (bad smell) and fly numbers due to animal and human waste materials, hence reduction in diseases related to unhygienic conditions. Soil nitrification equivalent to 35,000 tons (DM) bio-slurry manure has been realized which has led to increase in agricultural productivity among households cialis online 20mg that are utilizing the manure.