Biogas for Better Life Uganda



Africa is known for its high rates of premature deaths due to indoor air pollution caused by cooking on firewood or charcoal. Air pollution has been called the 'silent killer'. This problem is severe in rural Uganda where women spend on average more than three hours per day in the kitchen to cook and clean pots and stoves. Besides, cooking on firewood contributes to fast deforestation. 

Cooking on biogas is an ideal solution. Biogas is a clean and renewable cooking fuel. In Uganda biogas is also used for lighting in areas without access to electricity. A biodigester at home also produces bio-slurry which is used to fertilize crops. Domestic biogas also is solution to methane emissions from cow and pig manure left decomposing in open pits.

Biogas programme

The Uganda Domestic Biogas Programme started in 2009 and has been the first program in Uganda that has systematically promoted the installation of biodigesters with a guaranteed quality and a network of service providers for after sales services. Biogas Solutions Uganda Ltd (BSUL) was founded to develop a commercially viable biogas sector that supports the use of domestic biogas as a local sustainable energy source.

The approach of brokering partnerships between existing organisations and institutions, as well as starting new construction companies bears fruit. Since 2009 over 9,000 biodigesters have been built across Uganda.

Biodigesters are constructed by local enterprises creating jobs for local masons. Partnership agreements have been signed with rural cooperatives to provide construction loans. Income from carbon credits sales benefit directly biogas users in forms of after-sales support, bio-slurry training and other useful services.

Impact

Domestic biodigesters provide a way for individual households with livestock to reduce their dependence on polluting firewood and charcoal. Cooking on biogas means health benefits for the whole family, in particular for women and children. In addition, women no longer have to fetch wood; cooking is easier and faster, preventing black soot deposits in the house. Furthermore, In Uganda chemical fertilizers are very expensive. Leftover slurry from the biogas process is an excellent organic fertilizer that can be applied to improve crop yields. 

Selling more vegetables and food crops provides families with extra income. The use of bio-slurry improves soil health and recycle nutrients which helps farmers to improve yields and makes soil more resilient against climate change. It is often used to grow vegetables and other food crops close to home, hence improves nutrition by home consumption, while in many cases selling part of the food crops generates income controlled by women.

Biogas Solutions Uganda Ltd

The Uganda Biogas Programme is implemented by Biogas Solutions Uganda Ltd (BSUL). The programme was initiated by Hivos, under the umbrella of the Africa Biogas Partnership Programme, a partnership between the Dutch government, Hivos and SNV (Netherlands Development Organization). Hivos and SNV founded BSUL which has become a strong organization to implement the programme. In 2021 Hivos handed over carbon project development and certification in East Africa to BSUL in collaboration with Africa Bioenergy Programs Ltd based in Kenya. Since 2022 FairClimateFund is selling Gold Standard carbon credits generated by the project on behalf of BSUL.

Project Impacts

  • 9,787 biodigesters installed (8,326 of them eligible to earn carbon credits)
  • 58,722 direct beneficiaries
  • 141,638 tCO2 reduced (verified by Gold Standard)
  • 65,747 ton of wood saved
  • 5,475 households use bioslurry as fertilizer
  • 97% of users perceive health improvement
  • 91% of women have saved time (40% dedicate more time to generate income, 46% more time for leisure (chat, recreation, church, resting; 8% more time for education; 65 other)
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1286 carbon credits in stock

Project Developer

FairClimateFund / Biogas Solutions Uganda Ltd