Hivos International

Honoured for his role in scaling up biogas

At first glance it would be impossible to tell Xavier Bambara is a Zoo Technology Engineer; perhaps this explains his passion for biogas. Xavier held several positions in Burkina Faso’s Ministry of Animal and Resources which saw him rise through the ranks over the years before becoming the National Coordinator of the Biogas Programme.

He has always been at the forefront when it comes to issues related with climate change and how renewable energy can be utilised as a climate mitigation approach. Equipped with such knowledge, his role has been instrumental in scaling up the use of biogas in Burkina Faso. Reports indicate that although African countries emit the lowest carbon emissions, they have faced the worst consequences of global warming from floods to drought. Burkina Faso stands amongst the countries that have borne the brunt of climate change. The country only receives 600-1000 mm of rainfall annually leaving farmers with only two planting seasons. Xavier has been keen on changing this statistic in Burkina Faso through the National Biogas Programme (PNB-BF).

Since he joined the Programme, he has championed the use of biogas in the rural areas as an adaption mechanism to deforestation and climate change. Further to this his stewardship has seen the construction of 10,000 bio-digesters in Burkina Faso.

Today, the programme boasts of a robust relationship with the government thanks to Xavier’s leadership. Burkina Faso now stands as the leading country in West Africa to successfully establish a viable commercial market in the region. The government has further committed to build 40,000 biogas plants by 2020. The Programme has also been included in the government’s annual planning: Accelerated Growth and Sustainable Development Strategy (SCADD) and the National Plan for Economic and Social Development (PNDES) to oversee the scale up of biogas.

To recognize his efforts in building a biogas sector in the country; Xavier recently received the highest distinction of the country (Officer of the National Order) during Independence Day on 8 December 2016.

Frontrunners like Xavier continuously demonstrate that scale up of clean energy to the masses is possible. Through Hivos East Africa’s Africa Biogas Partnership Programme, individuals like him have contributed to the construction of over 55,000 biogas plants in Kenya, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Uganda and Tanzania.