In the southern district of Botswana, Betesankwe village, a 29 year-old woman named Atamelang Kefilwe Matale, a biogas project Mason builds a biogas the size of 30 cube meters with three other of her colleagues.
This is the 20th biogas digester she has built and this is her largest yet. She has built them all using Afro waste like cow dung and chicken litter to produce biogas directly used for cooking, heating and lighting South Eastern Botswana.
In her interview with Xinhua she said “This is the biggest biogas digester I have
constructed to date. The digesters I built
before only ranged between 6, 10 and 20
cubic meters in size. This is huge, so we will
be camping out here for the three weeks it
will take to complete it.”
This project launched on 20th of January, 2017 and was wrapped up January 2022. It will promote production of environmental friendly source of energy for farms, house holds and institutions that produce or have access to agricultural waste.
This project has been as a result of her training through Botswana Biogas project that was funded by the Global Environment Facility and United Nations Development Programme.
This has made her financially independent even though she has had to work twice as hard to prove herself. 70 Biogas digester masons have been trained by Botswana Biogas Project in 6 vocational training centers with 29 percent of the trainees being women.
“The biogas project has been a
success already and can go far as it has
brought financial relief to Batswana because
they are using renewable energy resources
to generate energy that is clean and free”. She said.
Matale mentioned that beneficiaries are taught how to feed and manage the digesters during construction and at the handover.
Once the digesters run out of energy they should be fed agro wastes and they’ll start running afresh.
Some of the citizens feel the biogas digester initiative has a bad smell and producing it means touching dirt. However, Rukero and Matale’s experience points to the urgent need for mind change for this commitment to be realized and for biogas to make a meaningful contribution to the reduction of the use of Green Harmful Gas.