December 6, 2019
- Biodigesters, which convert animal waste into a fertilizer and produce biomethane gas that can fuel improved cookstoves and provide light and multiple other services, offer great potential for Burkina Faso’s farmers.
- In November 2019 the World Bank’s Carbon Initiative for Development (Ci-Dev) issued the first set of carbon payments to the program, which will help scale up the National Biogas Programme of Burkina Faso.
- The program works to promote the use of biodigesters and support local biodigester producing enterprises to grow and meet the demand from rural families.
It is estimated that cooking with biogas created from biodigesters is technically feasible for 18.5 million households across Africa based on livestock ownership, water availability, fuelwood scarcity, population density, and climate. This makes biodigesters an important tool for delivering cleaner cooking solutions for approximately 150 million people.
In November 2019 the World Bank’s Carbon Initiative for Development (Ci-Dev) issued the first set of carbon payments to the program, which will help scale up the National Biogas Programme of Burkina Faso. The program works with local small businesses to promote the use and construction of biodigesters.
Carbon payments from Ci-Dev will be used to support and scale up the national program, helping to continue the sharing of information on the benefits of biodigesters for clean cooking and agricultural improvement, training masons on biodigester construction, and conducting quality control measures.
“Biodigesters have great potential for rural African farmers, as they can greatly reduce indoor air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, while providing families with a renewable source of energy.” Mr. Xavier Bambara, Head of the National Program for Biodigesters within the Ministry of Animal Resources.
The biodigesters convert animal waste into clean fuel that can be used for cooking and a nutrient rich-fertilizer that can be used for agriculture. Other benefits from the biogas include the capacity for a household to run lamps for basic lighting, hot water boilers for heat, and even small electricity generators. Biodigesters also produce a valuable and possibly marketable liquid fertilizer, which increase household revenue by improving soil quality and crop yields while offsetting costs for farmers and greenhouse gas emissions from the use of chemical fertilizers.
The benefits of biodigesters go beyond household improvements, elaborated in a study by the World Bank’s Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP). The use of biogas for cooking has significant gender, health, environmental, and economic impacts, as women and children are no longer exposed to harmful indoor air pollution nor need to spend long hours collecting solid wood fuels required for cooking. The use of solid wood fuels for cooking and heating is responsible for almost 4 million premature deaths annually. Further, the collection of solid wood fuels—like firewood and coal—contributes to deforestation, while the residential burning of such fuels account for anywhere from 60 to 80 percent of black carbon emission in Asia and Africa.
The program is expected to install more than 45,000 biodigesters across Burkina Faso by 2024, reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 540,000 tons of CO2. Under the first phase of the program, 4,000 biodigesters have already been installed.
Photo credit: SNV