Through biogas towards higher community resilience in Western province

Published: Mar 27, 2023 Reading time: 2 minutes
PIN Zambia
© Tereza Hronová

Western Province is one of the ten in Zambia renowned for its sweeping plains and rich biodiversity. However, just like many developing communities, the population of Western Province faces issues of vulnerability and a lack of energy resources. The vast majority depend on unsustainable energy sources, including charcoal and firewood; these cause deforestation and damage the climate. To reduce the harm caused by these practices, People in Need (PIN) began a project on the usage of biogas technology.

Biogas technology is entirely new to many people living in the villages of Zambia. It has the potential to change their lives positively. 

“We have benefited a lot because we no longer use charcoal and firewood to prepare our meals but instead use gas for cooking and lighting; in addition, we use the bio-slurry as fertiliser in our garden,” noted  Jane Akamandisa.

Through biogas to more sustainable energy sources 

A biogas plant (a biodigester) looks like a concrete dome built underground. Farmers fill the biodigester with animal dung and organic household waste and, through biodigestion, it generates gas for cooking and lighting; what’s more, a by-product of biodigestion known as bio-slurry can be used as organic fertiliser, thus furthering the benefits of this technology.

“This project improved our lives. PIN connected us with a bank to obtain loans to help implement the project. Furthermore, this project is a great financial investment and cost-effective way of farming,” says Kalimba Muzaza.

People in Need has helped build 45 biodigesters so far; the aim is to build 130 in Zambia—particularly in the Mongu, Nalolo, and Kalabo districts of Western Province. Biodigesters help mitigate climate change by saving trees, which people will no longer cut down.

Overall, the project has promoted the protection and management of Zambia’s environmental and natural resources while balancing the needs of social, economic development and environmental integrity; it has also accelerated economic and environmentally sustainable growth to improve health, sustainable livelihoods, income and living conditions of the Zambian population.

This project which began in 2021, is funded and implemented by the Czech Development Agency, in cooperation with partners like Keepers Zambia Foundation and the Czech University of Life Sciences in Prague, with the support of the District Administration and Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Livestock have provided technical and financial support on the usage of Biogas technology by the community.

Author: Mwanangombe Kamona

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