Biogas Can Improve Lives in UgandaRATIONALE
Throughout the world, millions of people in poor communities rely on wood- or charcoal-burning stoves for cooking and/or household heating. Often inefficient and poorly vented, these stoves have a number of disadvantages, including the creation of unhealthy indoor air pollution, deforestation of surrounding woodlands for fuel, water pollution from deforestation, cost of fuel, and contribution to greenhouse gas emissions.
Stoves using biogas—generated from domestic, livestock, and other wastes—have the potential to improve lives by providing clean-burning, efficient energy from renewable sources, as well as improving sanitation and reducing deforestation and pollution.
Initial studies and field work show that Uganda offers one of the best near-term prospects for biogas commercialization in sub-Saharan Africa. Institutional support for an integrated household-level biogas program appears strong, with government agencies ready to incorporate biogas in the national energy policy.
Winrock International's substantial experience with economic development and capacity building in rural Africa, as well as with small-scale renewable-energy systems including biogas and improved cook stoves around the world, can be of invaluable help to implementing a biogas program in Uganda. The current program aims to thoroughly assess the technical, economic, and socio-political feasibility of large-scale household biogas and concomitant sanitation dissemination in Uganda, including the feasibility of establishing and implementing a national rural livelihoods program focused on the introduction of biogas systems to meet energy, sanitation, health, environmental, and income needs. Winrock staff will examine distribution and analysis of poverty in rural areas, development status in the agricultural and livestock sectors, energy demand and supply in the household sector, energy policy and plans for meeting energy needs of the household sector, health and sanitation needs, policies and plans, and local environmental concerns such as deforestation and water quality.
Winrock's mission to Uganda will include meetings with government officials, private-sector enterprise specialists, and social entrepreneurs working in energy, livestock, enterprise development, sanitation, and health, as well as visits to persons involved in past domestic biogas projects to fully understand historical successes and failures. Staff will visit potential beneficiaries to assess needs and acceptance of biogas plants. The program will incorporate a stakeholder meeting to discuss ideas for the implementation of a national biogas program, with feedback incorporated into draft implementation plan.
Winrock will submit a final study report that incorporates reviewer comments and recommendations on the feasibility of biogas program. If a program appears feasible, Winrock will prepare an outline for a ten-year Ugandan national biogas, sanitation, and hygiene implementation plan.