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Cooking with cow dung in Kenya

Julia Henrichmann
April 2, 2019

Small and simple biogas units are helping Kenya's farmers to prevent deforestation and to produce better harvests. They are also proving to have positive health effects.

Global Ideas Kenia Biogasanlagen (Julia Henrichmann)
Image: DW/J. Henrichmann

Kenya: Switching to biogas

Project aim: Reducing deforestation and CO2 emissions in Kenya by promoting biogas units

Project implementation: The NGO atmosfair is subsidizing small farmers to install the units. They are also training bricklayers and technicians and offering advice on how to properly deal with the resulting sludge

Project scope: Since 2001, some 800 biogas units have been built in Kenya's Kiambu County. That number is expected to reach 2000 by the end of 2022

Project partner: atmosfair, Sustainable Energy Strategies

Over 80 percent of Kenyans use firewood or charcoal to cook. But that's a problem in a country with high rates of deforestation. Small biogas units could help save Kenya's trees — gas from cow manure even cooks food more quickly than firewood. As the units also cut down on  hazardous smoke, they are better for people's health, too. They also mean farmers no longer have to collect or buy wood or fell trees, which is helping to halt deforestation. The biogas units produce sludge as a byproduct. Since this is a better fertilizer than cow manure, local farmers are now hoping for a good harvest.

A film by Julia Henrichmann