Thursday, Oct 7, 10:00-12:00 am CEST
The National Domestic Biogas project: Energy Provision, Land Production, Increased Production and Policies Integration
Rwanda is over dependant on biomass for its primary energy balance. Biomass contributes to 85% petroleum products 11% and electricity to 4% of the national Primary energy Balance. The over dependence on woodfuels in both urban (charcoal) and rural (fuelwood) has negatively impacted both the economy and health of users and contributed to forest depletion de facto contributing to land degradation. Woodfuel is an unclean energy and harmful to the users health mostly wife and young children as they are the most exposed to hardship of collection and smokes. The Introduction of the NDBP has partially brought solutions to all the above mentioned problems.
Due to repeated division of ancestral property by traditional inheritance of land, currently in Rwanda 85.2% of households land holding is less than 0.2 ha inappropriate to cover food, fuelwood for the average family size of 5.5 persons and cattle ranching.
Traditional extensive ranching was purely impossible and surpassing own land border searching for grass was cause of conflicts. Moreover it was too harmful to land as ranchers were using bush fires to have fresh grass. Too many cattle on small land forced the population to invade forest contributing to their depletion. For that purpose the government instaured the zero grazing policy.
To ensure enough land for cultivation to local people, land consolidation becomes a policy and to guarantee a balanced diet the one cow per family policy was set a national target.
Now having at least one cow within the zero grazing system; enough land to grow fodder it was easy to produce biogas. All ingredients were present for the National Domestic Biogas project to be put in place.
Within the zero grazing system, cow dung was easily collected to be sued in a family biodigester and produce biogas to be used for both lighting and cooking. By by smoke: the killer in the kitchen. Welcome biogas: a cleaner energy.
The bio-slurry collected from the biodigester was used as a rich fertilizer saving the expensises traditional made for chemical fertilizers contributing as such to land protection and increasing the land production.
The NDBP was as such a perfect integration of national policies for poverty alleviation; a step up on the energy ladder and a conflict solver contributing to national resources protection; health care taker and poverty alleviation.
If my application was accepted this will be the case study I will present and share with colleagues alumni for its analysis and possible replication in countries with similar energy and land problems
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