Hujambo from Uganda!
The growing demand for fuel has resulted in pressure being exerted on the environment. Trees are cut to provide wood and charcoal for cooking, and burning of fossil fuels has had damaging effects on the environment. Smoke from burning of fuel wood is a hazard to human health. In addition, the cost of domestic fuel is much higher than most households in Uganda can afford. Biogas provides a cheap alternative source of energy for cooking and lighting. The Uganda Domestic Biogas Program therefore aims at addressing this gap by developing and disseminating domestic biogas in rural and semi-urban areas offering the Ugandan population the benefits derived from the use of clean biogas for cooking and lighting and using the bio-slurry to increase agricultural yields with the ultimate goal to establish a sustainable and commercial biogas sector in Uganda.The program will target 12,160 biogas households in the five-year project cycle. Biogas technology as local knowledge has not been institutionally operational in many parts of Uganda, and the introduction will be a considerate and phased approach. During the first six months, at least 120 biogas plants will be constructed 90 demonstration and 30 regular plants. The program will start in more densely populated areas, particularly where dairy activities are common (e.g., where Heifer Uganda, Send A Cow and other NGOs have placed cows). Outreach will be improved by making use of partnerships particularly with NGOs, local councils and religious communities active in remote areas.A multi-stakeholders sector development approach will be used and is based on the establishment, over time, of a market for domestic biogas installations and accessories, in which a well-informed demand side (i.e., in which clients who know what they want and recognize quality and value for money links up with an equally capable supply side that provides the market with quality products at competitive prices and with adequate after-sales services). Such a market is expected to reach a volume that allows a significant number of constructors and credit providers to maintain an economically-sound and profitable level of turnover. In the process toward market development, the government, civil society organizations, and other players in the public and private domain have a role to play, in addition to the main actors in the market.Particular attention will be paid to vocational training and business development. In Uganda, there are few contractors and skilled masons. No hard data is available on the presence of appropriate construction companies willing and able to build, maintain and repair bio-digesters. Most of the registered construction companies are located in the urban centers. In the past, numerous artisans have been trained in all kinds of masonry and have now established their own micro-enterprises, often not registered as a company. These artisans have the basic knowledge to qualify for the bio-digester mason training and are ideally situated in the villages. If there are not enough registered construction companies available to satisfy the demand, self-employed artisans will be approached to form bio-digester construction teams. The perspective is that these teams will transform into small but full-fledged companies in the long run.