Bakari’s biogas milestone

Bakari family   Bakari Marik Seif, a 42 year old father of four led a normal life in Kondo village – Bagamoyo tending to his farming enterprises until he visited Mr. Amon a village agricultural extension officer who had installed a six cubic metre digester in his home. Only then did his journey of becoming the village hero begin!   Bakari, who earns a living from selling cassava, coconuts and livestock from his farm decided to use his savings and invest in a digester because he had been told the technology had enormous benefits. With the key benefit being the use of bioslurry as a organic fertilizer on his farm, saving him approximately  202 euros annually! This would normally be used to purchase kerosene for lighting his house and charcoal and firewood for cooking.   “At first, my wife was not convinced that the technology works and did not support me in the investment despite narrating to her the benefits Mr. Amon had shown him”says Bakari. The skeptics were not only within his household, as his neighbours were also very negative and did not hide their displeasure noting that he was misusing his money. However, Bakari stood by his decision because he trusted what he had been told and shown by by the extension officer and Biogas Construction Enterprise (BCE)manager. Come the 20th August 2014, Bakari began the construction process that would cost him  792 euros. The funds for the digester were obtained from his savings and from the sale of some of his livestock.   According to Bakari, once the digester was complete it was only a matter before he started ‘winning converts’. and when the BCE manager came and connected the gas to the cooker in the kitchen, the joy from his wife was a clear indication that his investment was not in vain,   “I have not seen her happier as at that moment since we got married. I was so relieved and happy to see her positive reaction. She said it was unbelievable but the truth was there gas was coming from the cow dung” he quips.   A double surprise came when the BCE Manger informed him that his plant was the 10,000th digester in Tanzania and that the First Lady, Mrs Salma Kikwete would be coming over to inaugurate his plant. Despite, this additional good news, there were still doubting Thomas’s within his village, believing that Bakari was being fooled.   On 10th September 2014 Bakari’s skeptics were silenced, and as the inauguration ceremony went by, Bakari says he felt like history was unfolding right before his eyes. Not only was the First Lady Mama Salma Kikwete on his farm, but there were , dignitaries galore and more than 200 people from his village on his compound!  Since that day, the family receives 2-6 visitors daily from neighbouring villages paying him courtesy calls and visitng his plants. He now plans to establish a vegetable garden around his homestead using the slurry from the plant so as to fully utilize all the benefits of the technology.   Bakari notes that biogas has brought a new hope to his fellow villagers and he would like to see all people with more than two cows invest in biogas.  So far he has persuaded four family members to invest in biogas and Bakari believes that in no time, he’ll be able to persuade even more of the residents of Kondo village .