Kisumu takes action and materialize its climate plan: a biogas plant in operation at the Ahero Vocational Training Center
Published: 8 Dec 2021
County Government of Kisumu (CGK), supported by the Covenant of Mayors for Sub-Saharan Africa (CoM SSA) through its implementing partner Expertise France in the development of its Sustainable Energy Access and Climate Action Plan (SEACAP), is transitioning from planning to action. CoM SSA is a programme co-funded by the European Union that supports CGK and other signatories in the region to take tangible climate actions, both in planning and in implementing projects.
In November 2021, the County Government of Kisumu started the implementation of one of the pilot projects and commissioned the construction of a biogas plant at Ahero Vocational Training Center, Nyando Sub-county. The bio-digester (Fixed Dome Model) has a capacity of 10Cu.M and generates up to 3.0 cubic meters of gas daily when fed with 100kg of cow dung and runs a double tabletop burner for 6hrs daily to supplement the cooking energy needs of the center. The bio-slurry (exhausted dung) is used in the school farm by Agri-business students for their training on various applications which in return boost their skills and increase farm productivity.
The objective of this project is to demonstrate that biogas technology offers safe and environmentally friendly ways of waste disposal and recovery, by converting it into high-quality fertilizer for agricultural production, and clean and renewable gas for cooking, lighting, and running small farms equipment. This biogas plant serves as a demonstration for the students of the center, which has an enrollment of 700 and more specifically for those taking the agribusiness course. The stakeholders and the entire community (students, tutors, parents, etc.) are expected to continue learning the technology and spread it to the villages where a majority of Kisumu residents experience challenges in accessing clean energy. This will greatly increase its adoption and boost the share of the renewable energy mix in the county. Students pursuing masonry and plumbing course also participated in its construction and this was a strategy designed by the project implementation team to build their technical capacities and know-how for sustainability and future installations.
The success of this pilot project will enable the County Government of Kisumu to replicate this solution and access additional funding for a possible scale-up. Indeed, this is only a first step for the Department of Water, Environment, Climate Change and Natural Resources in charge of the project, which wishes to multiply this type of initiative in all other Vocational Training Centres (VTCs), with the support of its development partners or its internal resources. The aim is also to increase awareness of biogas technology and other clean energy solutions and reduce the proportion of households (currently 80%) that are still using unclean sources of energy for cooking, such as firewood, charcoal, and paraffin.
In addition to this project, training activities for biogas technicians and
awareness-raising sessions are planned to promote biogas technologies and the benefits that this solution can bring to cities and their populations.