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Biogas systems benefit Nepalese families

myclimate | In rural areas of Nepal, women mostly use wood to cook for their families which 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 that allow the population to be supplied with clean energy while preserving tree stocks.

Project type

Technology-based

Project field

Biogas

Location

Nepal

Price

€22 / tonne

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, 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.

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.

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