The pace at which the environment in LDCs is being deteriorated is quite alarming and calls for every one’s concern to avert the likely devastating effects from massive environmental degradation. As this is happening, most LDCs are still relying on wood as a main source of energy in households which exerts continuous threat to environmental status thus a need to design and implement preventive and conservation measures, among which is biogas, that was found to be multipurpose to households and companies that have adopted it.
Biogas refers to a gas produced by biological breakdown of organic matter in absence of oxygen (anaerobic digestion or fermentation). Potential sources of biogas include; animal dung, human waste/sewage, garbage/refuse, plant materials and energy crops. Development of small-scale biogas digesters in rural areas for energy provision and integrated use of bio-slurry organic manure provides the opportunity of changing the structure of rural household energy consumption and development of agriculture for the better in high uptake areas.
Where biogas systems have been used, local people are no longer using much wood and charcoal for cooking. Hence, an opportunity to allow trees and undergrowth to return, protect the soil, lessen the threat of climatic change effects like prolonged droughts and flooding, and to free people particularly women and children from backbreaking and destructive labour of gathering the fuel. Biogas technology therefore needs our understanding and support for society to properly appreciate and utilize it to benefit people especially in rural areas and at the same time conserve our environment.
In pursuit of the above cause, Kabaka Foundation working with the Ministry of Agriculture-Buganda Kingdom embarked on massive campaigns to promote biogas technology and tree planting among households in Buganda and three models of biogas technology are currently being adopted. These include;
a) Balloon biogas plant
b) Floating drum/Dome biogas plant
c) Fixed dome biogas plant
KF together with the Agriculture ministry subside the provision of any of the above biogas type to selected families/households that meet the following criteria. This ssubsidy ranges between 1,000,000 to 2,500,000= Uganda Shillings depending on the capacity of the technology adopted or recommended in a particular household. This disbursement usually caters for mason payment, biogas stove, lamp, pipes (dome & PVC) and after sales service). The conditions for benefiting households include;
- Possession of adequate cattle or pigs either zero grazed or night stabled
- Access to water or urine
- Ability to cost share
- Suitable site
- Availability of manpower to manage the biogas system
- Space for bio-slurry disposal and use