Project type: Biogas
Project location: Region Terai Arc, Nepal
Project status: In operation, credits available
Annual CO₂ reduction: 80'144 t CO2e
In rural areas of Nepal, women mostly use wood to cook for their families. This has a negative impact both on women’s health and on the climate. To counteract the problem, this project develops and distributes small biogas systems for private households. They allow the population to be supplied with clean energy while preserving tree stocks.
Women in rural regions of Nepal collect firewood several hours a day to cook for their families. The work is laborious and is not without risk: it could startle rhinos, elephants and other wild animals native to the woods and make them feel threatened, so the women must be vigilant at all times and walk carefully. When the Nepalese women cook over a wood fire, they are also exposed to smoke and often complain of irritated eyes and respiratory tracts.
The project has built, maintained and repaired more than 15,000 small biogas systems on the land of farming families; this became necessary following the devastating earthquake of 2015. The project was originally initiated by WWF Nepal and supported together with myclimate. The Nepalese project partner BSP (Biogas Sector Partnership Nepal) was responsible for the implementation. After the first project phase, the WWF handed over the entire project to its Nepalese partner, BSP, which is now continuing it with the support of myclimate. The operation of biogas systems reduces the demand for non-sustainably used firewood and at the same time reduces CO₂ emissions as a result of deforestation and combustion of the wood. The installed dome-shaped systems are developed in Nepal and provide enough energy for a family with at least two cows or buffaloes. The cattle manure is mixed with water and added to the system. Anaerobic decomposition of the organic matter promotes the formation of biogas, which is fed into the kitchen via pipe connections and used for cooking.
What is the most rewarding part of the job for me? Well, I make my own money and no longer have to ask my husband for any. I’m using it to send my three children to a better school.
The project in southwestern Nepal has several advantages for the local population: The time-consuming search for firewood is eliminated, families produce clean energy from their own waste themselves, and the planning, construction and maintenance of the systems creates hundreds of jobs. In addition, the families can decide to have a toilet built, which is also then connected to the system; this improves the hygienic situation. In contrast to firewood, cooking with Biogas also does not produce any harmful smoke. The digestate from the systems can be used as biological fertiliser, which improves agricultural yields.
To help families pay for the biogas systems, the local project partner BSP organises grants from government programmes and arranges access to low-interest loans from microfinance institutions. The income from the CO₂ certificates is another important part of making these facilities affordable for families.
Once financed and installed, the biogas plants relieve the family budget in the long term, as expenses for firewood and gas for cooking are eliminated. Harvested yields can be sold on the market.
Due to their high nutrient concentration, the fermentation residues from biogas plants are excellently suited as organic fertilizers for the vegetable fields of families. This supports sustainable agriculture, as expensive chemical fertilizers no longer have to be used.
Women benefit from the fact that they are no longer exposed to smoke when cooking.
Because there is no time-consuming collection of firewood (832 hours per household per year), children have more time to go to school and do homework.
Only women can buy a biogas plant, which strengthens the position of women.
The plants produce biogas from organic waste from livestock farming.
The project cooperates with local companies that install and maintain the biogas plants.
The recycling of organic waste contributes to sustainable waste management.
No more smoking wood fire needed for cooking. Harmful CO₂ emissions are avoided.
The project contributes to saving firewood and protects forests from deforestation.
The programme enables the transfer, dissemination and implementation of environmentally friendly technologies in Nepal.