photo: Sven Torfinn. Tanzania, Moshi, December 2015. Helena Mucharo (55) is living on the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro near the town of Moshi in Northern Tanzania.
Helena’s health was effected by the smoke of cooking on firewood at least three times a day for her large family. Together with her husband Joshua (63) she decided to invest in a biogas digester which was built by ELC Tanzania, biogas implementing partner of Hivos. The biogas digester has radically improved their economic situation since she no longer has to buy firewood and kerosine for the oil lamps.
The digester was installed closely to the barn which houses 2 cows and 1 calf. As the mason made a good connection between the floor of the barn and the digester, the daily procedure of creating biogas is easy for Helena. In the mornings, she throws 2 to 3 buckets of cow dung in the digester, mixes this with water and then let this mixture run into the digester. This mixture then provides them with enough biogas to cook on for the whole day and even use the biogas lamp in the evening which provides enough light for the kids (name of the girl is Zewadi, boy is Attrumani) to be able to do their homework.
The bio slurry, the remains after the biogas is extracted, has proven to be a very fertile manure. Since Helena started to apply the slurry on her chamba (vegetable garden) she is harvesting more vegetables, she sells the surplus on the local market, which generates an extra income.
Helena with two of her children Zewadi and Attrumani making homework.