Lango Residents Struggle to Embrace Biogas

2782 Views Lira, Uganda

In short
Julius Peter Okello, a retired head teacher who has acquired the system says much as it is expensive to acquire the biogas system, its worth because it has more benefits.

The biogas project introduced in Lango region by Q Energy Bio-Digesters Limited, a Netherland based consultancy firm in June last year has failed to pick up.

The project is aimed at offering residents and alternative source of energy for cooking, lighting and organic fertilizers to boost agricultural production. Biogas is often used as a substitute to natural gas and is made from human excreta, manure and food waste among others.

Despite its enormous benefits, Herbert Olinga, the Regional Project Coordinator, says so far only about 15 people in the entire region have embraced the biogas system.

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According to Olinga, in addition to the high quality cooking and lighting fuel, biogas comes with a lot of benefits to the environment.
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To feed the digester, Olinga explains that one has to have at least three Friesian cows or 10 indigenous ones or have access to plant waste. However, several families in Lango, which are still recovering from decades of conflict can't afford this.

Some local leaders have taken up the campaign to encourage residents to embrace the project.  Geoffrey Omara Ebuk, the LC 3 chairman of Nambieso Sub County in Apac district wants his council to allocate some fund to facilitate the promotion of the project.

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Frank Okot, a resident of Kichope village says much as the biogas system would be the best alternative source of energy, its expensive for an ordinary person to acquire.

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Because of the associated benefits, Okot wants government to create a special fund, to help the cost of acquiring biogas technology in Uganda.

He notes that there is high demand for cleaner and readily available energy from biogas, but the associated cost is prohibitive to several families.
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Julius Peter Okello, a retired head teacher who has acquired the system says much as it is expensive to acquire the biogas system, its worth because it has more benefits.

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Statistics by the Water and Environment Ministry show that Uganda loses 120,000 hectares of forest cover each year to meet the demands for cooking and small scale industries.

Eng. Christopher Kato, an expert on biogas production says this can be reduced with the promotion of biogas use. The World Health Organization estimates that 4.3 million people die annually from lung cancer, pneumonia and cardiovascular diseases among others due to smoke resulting from the use of unclean energy. 

Out of these, Uganda contributes 18,250 deaths annually. 


About the author

Denis Olaka
Denis Olaka is the URN bureau chief for Lira, in northern Uganda. Apac and Otuke fall under his docket. Olaka has been a URN staff member since 2011.

Olaka started his journalism career in 2000 as a news reporter, anchor, and then editor for Radio Lira in Lira district. He was subsequently an editor with Lira's Radio Wa in 2004 and Gulu district's Mega FM.

He was also a freelance writer for the Daily Monitor and Red Pepper newspapers.

Olaka's journalism focuses on politics, health, agriculture and education. He does a lot of crime reporting too.