One of the beneficiaries of UNDP’s biogas project, Ms Faith Malefo Gabonthone stated that the biogas has improved her life and made it easier. She said she used to cook and iron using fire which was tiring as she had to go and look for firewood in the bush. She also said ironing was a problem especially her children’s school uniform as the iron made it dirty.
She lamented that since using biogas she finds a lot of convenience to do other chores at her home. She says she cooks, irons and lights the house with biogas. She said it reduced her costs as she used to buy gas but that is a thing of the past now because biogas only needs animal waste such as cow dung, chicken manure and pigs manure. She said that she does not incur any costs in the maintenance of the biogas digester.
Faith said this recently when the Minister of Mineral Resources,Green Technology and Energy Security, Hon. Lefoko Moagi toured two biogas projects in Moshupa village in the Southern District. The two projects which were funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) through the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) started operation in 2018 to date and are doing well.
During the tour, the minister indicated that the intention is to construct 200 digesters in Southern, South east, Kgatleng and Kweneng. The applications for these 200 digesters have already been received by the Department of Energy. The minister emphasized that the project is targeting mainly the youth, women and people living with disabilities. He said the biogas is the biggest project that can help improve the livelihood of Batswana especially in rural areas.
Note; The Biogas Project is about promoting the production and utilization of biogas as an environmentally friendly fuel (or source of energy) for any farm, institution etc that produces agro-waste. The agro-waste, for example, cow dung or chicken litter, can be processed into biogas that can then be used directly, for cooking, heating or lighting, or processed further and used to produce electricity.
The Biogas Project exists as a support to the NDP11 of Botswana which speaks of improving security of supply, equitable access to affordable modern energy, increasing the share of renewables and offsetting the country’s carbon footprint through renewables.
Over and above that, Botswana is party to the Paris Agreement which aims to strengthen the global response to climate change, in the context of sustainable environment. The Biogas Project is in line with both.
Through Botswana Institute for Technology Research and Innovation (BITRI) the project is implemented based on 3 components:
Component 1: Capacity building and institutional strengthening
Component 2: Establishment of biogas plants
Component 3: Establishment of biogas utilization platforms
The Biogas Project wants to facilitate low-carbon investments and public-private partnerships in the production and utilization of biogas from agro-waste in the districts of South-eastern Botswana.