Kenya Biogas Programme

Added 07/07/2020

Kenya Biogas Programme

With the majority of Kenyans using firewood, charcoal or kerosene to meet their energy needs, this project offers a clean and sustainable alternative to fossil fuels – biogas. Biodigesters are installed at household level, generating gas from anaerobically digested animal manure and solving the problem of managing unhygienic animal waste, while enabling families to cook with a smoke-free fuel. Cooking on biogas is fast and smokeless, improving family health, especially among women and children.

The digesters also produce slurry – a rich fertiliser comprised of manure and water – that can be used to promote soil health. Which leads to having more vegetables to sell, providing families with extra income. Setting up of biodigesters in Kenya has also increased the recycling of wastewater that is then mostly used for cleaning and irrigation. In addition to multiple health benefits, the biodigesters save families money and time, as well as cutting 4.2 tonnes of CO2 each annually.

What are Biodigesters?

Biodigesters are specially designed concrete, metal, or plastic structures that provide anaerobic environments where organic matter is broken down into sludge, water, and gas. Biodigesters are constructed for different purposes.

What is a Biodigester used for?

Biodigesters are used for domestic and commercial waste management, wastewater management, as replacements for traditional pit latrines and for generating biogas that is used for heating ad lighting.

More about the programme

The Kenya biogas programme provides biodigesters to individual households. The programme is part of the Africa Biogas Partnership Programme (ABPP). ABPP is a partnership between the Dutch government, Hivos and SNV Netherlands Development Organization, in support of national programmes in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia and Burkina Faso. The overall objective is to develop a commercially viable biogas sector that supports the use of domestic biogas as a local, sustainable energy source.

Since the start of the programme in 2009, over 15,000 biodigesters have been built across Kenya. Entrepreneurship is encouraged and, to date, nearly 100 masons have started their own business entities, helping to build the local economy.

A barrier for some families is the cost to apply the biogas technology, the programme has therefore initiated credit partnerships with financial institutions. Working together with rural micro finance institutions and saving cooperatives, it ensures that biodigester buyers get the most favorable credit terms. Income from carbon credit sales benefit directly biogas users in forms of after-sales support, bioslurry training and other useful services.

Photo credits: Sven Torfinn

Project impacts and benefits (until December 2018):

  • 15,140 smoke-free kitchens 

  • 90,840 direct beneficiaries 

  • 333,500 tCO2 reduced 

  • 202,000 ton of wood saved

  • 14,200 productive slurry users

  • 28 private enterprises  

  • 115 full time jobs plus part-time unskilled day labour

You can see a great video from local community here.