Robert Ojok Mone More than 147-families across Acholi Sub region are benefiting from biogas established by Caritas Gulu archdiocese under the “project green energy and nutrition” as an alternative energy source. Biogas is a mixture of gases, primarily consisting of methane and carbon dioxide, produced from raw materials such as agricultural waste, manure, garbage, plant material, sewage, green waste. The project is aimed at reducing greenhouse emission to fight global warming that may result into unfavorable climate change. The program manager livelihood at Caritas Denis Ojara says the project is targeting 197 families. “We are hoping this will reduce the methane gas from eroding ozone layer and reduction in deforestation which would help us conserve our environmental. In this project we hope we can enroll around 197 families. We only hope we can attract the people we want to the project so that its sustainability is guaranteed”, he said. Acan Hellen a beneficiary from Pida cell, Gulu city reported reduction in time spent in her kitchen activities ever since she embraced the project. “I have had a great reduction in the time spent in preparing food. Also these days I use less firewood and charcoal because biogas helps me to prepare breakfast, meals and also boil milk in the evenings. It takes about 3-hours to cook beans and some other vegetables for my family but most importantly I use it to boil milk daily in the evening hours so that the following day it will be fresh for sale. The gas has even made boys embrace cooking because the energy is clean without smoke”, she said. But Joyce Latigo another beneficiary who has embraced the initiative cites challenges in refilling the digester. “It has made cooking simpler and faster especially when I come back from the garden or in any case a visitor gets to my home. The only big challenges with this is that it is difficult to feed the digester daily with cow dung which is somehow tedious because the plant needs constant attention looking at the nature of my home with few animals to produce enough dung daily”, she said. Santa Joyce Laker the chairperson Atiak sugar cane out growers’ cooperative society says bio-gas is the way to go compared to families in Western Uganda that have their homes lite daily. She appeals to the urban dwellers to borrow a leaf from other families to construct a plant around the central market to reduce the challenges of intermittent power supply and garbage piling up in all corners of the city. “If all of us could embrace this initiative then we could stop cutting down trees especially for us in the urban settings. The biggest challenge would be sorting out the garbage which may have some cost implications especially for the City authorities”, she says.
COVER PHOTO: Some residents constructing a domestic biogas digester. Courtesy Photo by Robert Ojok Mone.