One of the biggest components of Hivos East Africa’s successes has been the integration of Research and Development (R&D) to inform the upscaling of proven models. The Renewable Energy programme has been keen to use R&D to inform interventions such as the development of markets for green energy services like biogas.
On 3 March 2017, the Africa Biogas Partnership Programme’s National Implementing Agency (NIA) in Kenya, the Kenya Biogas Program (KBP), entered into a partnership with the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) to assess bio-slurry’s (a bi-product of producing biogas) impact environmentally as an organic fertilizer and pesticide.
The research commissioned by ILRI’s Mazingira Centre and the Kenya Biogas Program will be crucial in investigating the potential of bio-slurry economically and environmentally. Speaking during the commissioning, KBP’s Program Manager Kevin Kinyangi noted that while the programme has been keen to upscale the use of biogas to the communities in dire need of clean energy, the aspect of research has often been overlooked in their marketing approach. ‘’To date, KBP has installed more than 10,000 bio-digesters in Kenya, the launch of this research is timely in reiterating our contribution to the global climate change mitigation mechanisms especially now that biogas is included as one of the Nationally Mitigation Action Initiatives,’’ he said.
Lutz Merbold, head of the Mazingira centre, noted ILRI’s interest in the partnership especially when it comes to the use of bio-slurry to increase smallholder farmers’ productivity and quantifying greenhouse gas emissions. ‘’The Mazingira Centre is currently the largest state-of-the-art lab in Africa leading research on the impact of agricultural activities in the environment. Bio-slurry carries a huge potential in environmental conservation, and assessing its actual impact will be useful in informing some of our interventions in developing strategies towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions,’’ he said.
The launch of the research was just in time with the installation of ILRI’s first bio-digester in campus to kick-start the project.
About the Africa Biogas Partnership Programme
The African Biogas Partnership Programme (ABPP) is a Public Private Partnership between Hivos, SNV/ Netherlands Development Organisation and the Directorate General for International Cooperation (DGIS) of the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs. ABPP aims to contribute to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals through construction of 100,000 bio-digesters as a domestic clean source of energy.
The programme has so far constructed 62,989 household bio-digesters in Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda, enabling more than 300,000 people to have access to a sustainable clean source of energy for cooking. This also means the majority of women and children in such households are no longer exposed to health risks associated with indoor air pollution.
This story was also published by ILRI