Where villagers previously relied on daily treks to gather firewood as their main source of energy, they now have access to biogas, ushering in a brighter future for the community. The traditional wood burning stoves were used to prepare food which released fumes into homes where families were exposed to toxic gases causing pulmonary diseases. In addition, these gases also contributed to deforestation and CO2 emissions.
With a need for a more sustainable energy source, a community style biogas system was developed utilizing pig manure. What was once seen as waste has provided energy transformation and promoted the sustainable use of natural resources. This new source supplies gas for cooking, heating and is a reliable source of electricity when used with a small generator to power household appliances. One kilogram (2.2 pounds) of pig manure can produce around 0.35 cubic metres of biogas which provides cooking for 8-12 people.
The health of families has been improved, villagers have a sustainable source of income from fertilizer being generated and kids can focus on education rather than gathering firewood. Local support was on hand to help with the construction and almost all of the work took place on site. The next phase for the project is to complete the works on the village fish farm, which will then add another layer of sustainability and growth.
The project was made possible by funding from the Wood’s community support programme and the Afri-Link and BERUDA (Belo Rural Development Association) charities. BERUDA is a not-for-profit grassroots organisation based in Cameroon. Founded by a local man with a vision for a brighter future for his community, Simon Ngwainmbi, is the passionate director and inspiration behind BERUDA that continues to implement projects in the community to increase the health and wellbeing of their people.