THE ARUSHA TALE

The Family Agony

Mr. and Mrs. Seleman are a couple with  three children. They are farmers living in Arusha, Tanzania. For a long time, they had been using firewood, charcoal, purchased gas, electricity and Kerosene as sources of energy for their household. Their misery can well be conceptualized considering the disadvantages associated with the named sources of energy: high costs, sickening smoke, scarcity, interruptions especially from electricity blackouts, hassle of obtaining them especially firewood etc. The danger paused to the forest (environment) cannot be gainsaid; not to mention the carbon emissions.

 A reprieve!

The family acquires a biogas digester in April 2010. Since then, they cannot hold back their joy:

“Biogas benefits us in many ways” they said in delight. “We no longer cut our trees for firewood, the bananas provides us with shades, we do not buy kerosene anymore for lighting…”

Energy

Before biogas

After biogas

Firewood

50,000

10,000

Charcoal (5 bags per year)

100,000

20,000

LPG (1 tank in 2 month @ 37,000)

222,000

00

Kerosene @ 700 every 2 days

127,750

20,000

Total

499,750

194,000

One Euro is about TZS 2 044

Biogas to Bucks 

Among the immediate benefits is the financial savings for energy; coocking and lighting. The yearly savings amount to more than TZS 300,000! Besides, income from their  agricultural financial operations, has grown from TZS 260,000 to around TZS one million.

The Kitchen Beauty of Biogas

Apart from the economic gains, Mrs. Seleman celebrates the cleanliness of her kitchen. Thanks to the smokeless biogas! The kitchen is more specious due to absence of firewood.

Time is Money!

Mrs. Seleman now has more time than ever. The available time was otherwise used to collect firewood. This time is now diverted to other economic and social activities.

Crop Before After
Bunches of banana

180,000

540,000

Flower garden

60,000

150,000

Vegetable

20,000

100,000

Dried bio-slurry

00

200,000

Total

260,000

990,000

 

 

 

 

 

Where is the ‘Miracle’?

Besides the use of biogas as a source of energy, this household uses bio-slurry (a bi-product in biogas production) as fertilizer for growing bananas, flowers, trees and vegetables. They also use slurry as pesticides for plants. The systematic and intensive use of slurry in all their agricultural activities has resulted in remarkable change in harvests and also significantly improved productivity. The excess slurry is dried and sold to the neighbors.