Biodigesters for cleaner, healthier life
Impact of Domestic Biogas
The impact of most development interventions can only be observed months, often even years, after implementation. This does not apply for the impact of a bio-digester. The improvement on a family’s standard of living is immediately noticeable, as the bio-digester enables cooking in a cleaner, healthier, smokeless environment. At the same time, biogas leads to cost savings from reduced use of expensive and unsustainable energy sources like kerosene, firewood and charcoal. The reach of the intervention grows as the use of bio-slurry improves the agricultural productivity, restores the soil structure and creates resilience to climate change. The community benefits from reduced deforestation and greenhouse gas emissions, as well as the creation of employment. The installation of a bio-digester is therefore an intervention that combines development, immediate impact and, last but not least, sustainability.
Background Information ABPP
The Africa Biogas Partnership Programme (ABPP) is a Public Private Partnership engagement that is funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. ABPP is proud to be the first biogas programme that has been able to create sustainable results at scale by partnering with local enterprises, NGOs and governments in sub-Saharan Africa. The Programme supports five national biogas programmes in Africa: Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Burkina Faso. ABPP lead partners are also supporting emerging biogas initiatives in other African countries including Benin, Cameroon, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Mali.
In the five ABPP countries, national biogas programmes are being implemented in partnership between national implementing agencies, Hivos (Humanist Institute for Cooperation with Developing Countries) as the Fund Manager and SNV (Netherlands Development Organization) as the technical assistance provider. In each of the countries, the national implementing partner is tasked with the direct discharge of the programme activities in their respective countries.
By June 2015 more than 51,000 bio-digesters had been constructed in the five ABPP countries, providing a quarter million people with access to sustainable and clean source of energy, home lighting and organic fertiliser.
ABPP’s vision is to contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals through the dissemination of domestic biogas technology as a local, sustainable energy source and agricultural solution. It aims is to develop commercially viable market-led biogas sectors in Africa. ABPP’s target is to construct 100,000 bio-digesters by 2017. A key programme focus concerns the role of women in the African society where ABPP empowers them to be bio-digester owners, train them in biogas construction masonry and running bio digester construction companies. The objective is to enable increased women economic productivity by making them part and parcel of the biogas commercial space; while socially also freeing up their valuable time previously used in search of wood fuel.
Construction and ownership of bio digesters has also encouraged the involvement of youth in agri-business due to quick return on investment associated with utilization of bio slurry (a co-product of the bio digester) in various agricultural practices. Excellent results have been reported in bio slurry application in fish and pig farming, horticulture, coffee, maize, banana and sugar cane value chains.
One of the major impediments to African households in constructing bio digesters is the relatively high construction cost of a domestic biogas plant (from US$ 500 to US$ 1,000 depending on the size of the bio digester). In a bid to address this problem, ABPP is implementing in Kenya a biogas end-users credit scheme in partnership with the Dutch funded RaboBank Foundation providing biogas credit to small holder farmers via (Dairy) Farmer Cooperatives and SACCOs. Furthermore in partnership with Energizing Development (EnDev), an energy access partnership currently financed by six donor countries (the Netherlands, Germany, Norway, Australia, United Kingdom and Switzerland), ABPP has reached out to interested financial institutions in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda by offering them a result based Credit Sanctioning Incentive for providing loans to prospective bio-digester owners. The programme pays the financial institutions a pre-determined cash incentive for every successful loan provided to households procuring a bio-digester on credit.
Customer Service Support
With the aim to enhance bio-digester functionality and end-user satisfaction, ABPP is setting up Customer Support Centres in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. Each national Customer Support Centre will provide designated telephone lines, through which current and new customers will be able to seek help and information with regard to all domestic biogas products and services.
Private Sector Focus
ABPP has also been instrumental in encouraging the private sector’s interest in the development of the biogas sector in Africa. ABPP is currently collaborating with an increasing number of dairy cooperatives and other interested partners in the agricultural private sector such as ECOM Agro Industrial Corp Ltd. Through this partnership, ABPP is focused on reaching out to 22,000 smallholder coffee farmers in the three East African countries in the coffee value chain where its aim is to include bio-digesters in the production system of the smallholder coffee farmers. The aim of this partnership with the private sector players in the coffee sector is to gradually make a significant contribution in the restoration of agricultural lands leached of most of their nutrient topsoil, through the introduction of bio-digesters and the promotion of bio-slurry use in the coffee farms to restore the soil nutrients.
Climate and Environment
ABPP is also contributing to mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions through its increasing number of constructed bio-digesters across Africa as these bio digesters are substituting biomass (firewood, charcoal) fuel use that has an adverse effect on the environment. ABPP is currently in the process of selling carbon credits derived from its constructed bio digester plants in Kenya and Tanzania in the international carbon trading markets; whose proceeds will be ploughed back into the respective country programme activities to continue supporting the biogas technology uptake in Africa.
ABPP is proud of having achieved a key milestone of enabling improved standards of living of 250,000 people across five African countries by mid-2015. This achievement is an inspiring example of a development intervention that combines development, immediate (local and global) impact and sustainability. ABPP’s biogas sector development and commercialization approach could very well work for other sector development interventions. ABPP is also an exceptional illustration of the latest vision on international co-operation, as it combines investment, trade and (to a smaller extent) grants. Demonstrating what this combination can achieve, could very well work as a catalyst for other private sector development initiatives.
For more information on domestic biogas technology, products and services in Africa, please contact us or any of our East African country offices below:
Africa Biogas Partnership Programme (ABPP)
Phone: +254 725 451 729 or +254 789 451 729
Twitter : @ABiogas
Kenya National Domestic Biogas Programme (KENDBIP)
Phone: +254 20 2180608/+254 20 /+254 719 635 516/+254 723 903 957
Tanzania Domestic Biogas programme
Phone: +255 27 2549214
Biogas Solutions Uganda Limited,
Phone: TEL: 0750 899 238/ 0750 899 236