Alfred Karanja of Kiambu County prides himself in being a biogas digester owner because of its many benefits. He purposely installed a bio-digester to take advantage of the organic manure (“bio-slurry”) that is produced as a by-product, as well as gas for cooking and heating. His family no longer has to fetch firewood, and the cost of fuel has significantly decreased. The Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) they used before would run out quickly, so they were not always sure if they could cook at any one time.
“I got to know about biogas through Flexi promoters. I preferred to install the masonry type since this is a cold region and Flexi would not do so well in terms of gas production. I spent Ksh 60,000 (equivalent to 600 USD) to install 10 cubic meters in May 2016. I only feed it with manure three times a week, and I have not come across any technical challenges. Even if I had any, I would turn to my reliable mason who installed it,” Alfred said.
His uses 2 acres of land for agricultures and wishes to expand to 5 acres. He grows herbs and spices like rosemary, chamomile, chilli, black seed and fenugreek to sell, as well as fruits like pepino melon and tree tomatoes (tamarillo). By using bio-slurry as a fertilizer, he ensures that the crops maintain their nutritive value, while repelling repels pests such as aphids, cut worms and red spider mites. This means both the cost of crop production and crop loss due to pests have dropped significantly.
Following the installation of Alfred’s biogas digester, the mason received orders to install another 17 digesters in the community.
SOURCE: Hivos East Africa