In a world grappling with environmental challenges and the need for sustainable energy solutions, the African Biodigester Component Kenya (ABC-K) is making remarkable strides. Supported by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The European Union and the Danish International Development Agency, this innovative initiative aims to foster the growth of the biodigester markets in Kenya. The project is implemented by a consortium of GIZ, SNV Netherlands Development Organisation, and the Africa Bioenergy Partnership Limited (ABPL). ABC-K is revolutionizing the way Kenyans access energy, manage agricultural waste and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Biodigesters are devices that convert organic waste into biogas and bio-slurry, offer a range of benefits to the the environment and local communities. Through the ABC-Kenya project, the goal is to install over 20,000 small-scale and 250 commercial-scale biodigesters by 2025 in Kenya. Awareness creation initiatives will target high-potential and affirmative-action counties in Kenya. These are Kiambu, Nyeri, Nakuru, Meru, Murang’a, Bomet, Uasin Gishu, Nandi, Kakamega, Nyandarua, Isiolo and Taita Taveta.
The impact of biodigesters on farmers' lives is already evident.
Teresia Njeri, a farmer from the Ting'anga area in Kiambu County, testifies to the positive changes she has experienced since adopting this technology. "I have been using bio-slurry in my coffee farm for the last four years and have seen a significant increase in yields," she shares. "This has reduced the need for chemical fertilizers, resulting in cost savings." In addition to using bio-slurry as organic fertilizer, Teresia utilizes biogas for cooking and boiling water. This has reduced her reliance on firewood and charcoal and provided her with a clean and non-smoky kitchen.
Teresia's success story is just one among many. Farmers across the selected counties are embracing biodigesters and are reaping the benefits in various ways. Bio-slurry finds its use in mushroom farming, fish farming, organic greenhouse farming, earthworm breeding, compost manure production, and even as animal feed supplements. The versatility of bio-slurry has significantly enhanced agricultural practices, leading to improved crop yields and reduced dependence on expensive chemical fertilizers.
To ensure the success of the ABC project, various interventions are being implemented. The Africa Bioenergy Partnership Limited (ABPL) is leading on awareness-raising initiatives utilizing both above-the-line and below-the-line communication, which effectively promote awareness and the sharing of knowledge. Additionally, the project seeks to tackle the myths, misconceptions, and biases surrounding biodigesters within the community by employing behaviour-change communication approaches.
The ABC-K project works in collaboration with energy, agriculture, and technical vocational training centres, leveraging existing networks to reach a wider audience.
Gender equality is a vital component of ABC-Kenya, with a focus on supporting women entrepreneurs and women-led businesses. The project actively promotes the capacity building of women-led enterprises and aims to create equal opportunities for women and men in the sector. By incorporating gender-sensitive behavioural change communication and household dialogue approaches, ABC-Kenya is ensuring that women are active participants in the biodigester revolution.
The future of ABC-Kenya holds even more exciting prospects. A digital and media campaign called "Biogas-Tunza afya, Boresha Maisha" (Biogas for Healthy Living, Enhancing Lives) is set to be launched, targeting rural and peri-urban dairy farmers. This campaign aims to raise awareness about the benefits of biodigesters and increase their adoption. Additionally, the project plans to organize an annual biogas valorisation challenge, inviting participants to present innovative ideas for the best utilization of biogas. Such initiatives not only promote creativity but also create a platform for recognition and support within the biodigester sector.
Furthermore, ABC-Kenya recognizes the importance of evidence-based advocacy and creating an enabling environment for the sustainable growth of the biodigester markets. By developing a biogas curriculum, training, and certifying masons, the project ensures the quality and standardization of biodigester construction. ABC -K also supports the capacity building of existing domestic biodigester masons to work on larger systems, expanding their expertise and employment opportunities. With these interventions, the project aims to communicate the environmental and economic benefits of biodigesters, fostering a virtuous cycle of corporate social responsibility.
The African Biodigester Component in Kenya is spearheading a transformative movement that not only addresses the country's energy and waste management challenges but also empowers local communities, particularly women. By embracing biodigesters, Kenyan farmers are unlocking the potential for sustainable agriculture and clean energy, laying the foundation for a greener and more prosperous future. As the ABC-Kenya project continues to evolve, it holds the promise of transforming lives, one biodigester at a time.
To learn more about the African Biodigester Component Kenya
Kindly contact, Victor Gathogo, Climate Change Renewable Energy Advocacy Advisor, SNV Kenya at email@example.com or Saida Wanga, Project officer - Awareness raising, SNV Kenya
Project officer - Awareness raising, SNV Kenya
Climate Change Renewable Energy Advocacy Advisor, SNV Kenya
Communication officer NEADAP