Kenya was among the first countries in Africa to adopt biogas technology in the early 1950’s. However, uptake remained low until the Kenya Biogas Programme was rolled out in 2010. During Phase 1 (2009- 2013) 11,529 plants were constructed at a target of 11, 690 biogas plants. The Programme adopted a national dissemination approach, away from a defined regions approach prescribed in the Programme Implementation Document (PID).
The implementation period saw a significant expansion in the partnership network with over 160 institutions and organizations from both the private and public sectors collaborating with the programme in the implementation of the various programme components, enhancing the programme’s outreach and service delivery to clients.
Quality management remains a key pillar of the program, 40 supervisors have been engaged to back up the ten biogas technicians to enhance quality control services, alongside deliberate efforts to emphasize quality management in individual Biogas Construction Enterprises (BCEs) and biogas masons operations. To sustain growth of the market, the programme’s marketing strategy is focused more on full biogas benefits with more value attached to the bio-slurry benefits. To further enhance outreach, the programme partners with three implementing partners as a strategy to strengthen both the supply and demand sides of the sector in their respective areas of operation.
Since the programme is based on the development of a commercially viable and market-oriented biogas sector 82 of the 577 trained mason have registered business companies and now operate as business entities – BCEs 240 masons are still working as sole proprietors. The program is facilitating the formation and registration of an Association of Biogas Contractors of Kenya (ABC-K) and Association of Biogas Sector of Kenya (ABSK), whose membership is made up the biogas value chain sector actors to continue steering the biogas sector ahead in Kenya even beyond the programme closure. The program has initiated various credit partnerships with financial institutions, culminating in joint MOUs to finance biogas installation. These institutions include Kenya Women’s Finance Trust (KWFT), Letshego formerly Micro Africa, Taifa Sacco, , among others. The program has also assisted local Sacco’s to access cheap loans from The Rabo Bank Foundation for purposes of on lending to their members. This is to enable as many eligible clients take up biogas technology. During phase one, 21% of all installations were financed through credit facilities, Rural Micro-Finance Institutions MFIs and saving cooperatives accounted 97% of lending with only 3% of the credit being provided for by conventional banks.
Women are reported to account for 78% of borrowers and men 22%. Women lead in the uptake of biogas plants loans, in addition, the number of females trained in operation and maintenance and bioslurry utilization stood at 48%. Use of bioslurry for improved agricultural production has increased due to enhanced training and awareness among women users