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Development of domestic biogas in Rwanda

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Rwanda is a country with areas of high population density. In this context, agro-pastoralists are facing a shortage of available land. In addition, human pressure on natural resources leads to degradation of soils and forests which threatens the sustainability of production systems.

The Rwandan government has implemented various measures to deal with these threats. The promotion of domestic biodigesters, the “one cow per poor family” operation are testimonials of the authorities’ commitment to reducing rural poverty and provide income and energy resources for rural households.

Enea Consulting was asked to support Veterinarians without Boarders Belgium (VSF-B, Vétérinaires Sans Frontières Belgium) in the definition of domestic biogas projects in Rwanda. The overall objective of the project was to evaluate the potential of biogas from domestic agro-livestock in Rwanda:

  • Feedback from domestic biogas projects in developing countries
  • Evaluation of the local context and gathering information on the ground with institutions and current and potential beneficiaries (2-week field evaluation)

The study showed that despite a very favourable context for the development of the domestic biogas from agro-livestock in Rwanda, the expansion of this sector is still limited for two main reasons:

  • A lack of awareness and information among breeders
  • Biodigesters prices are prohibitive for the most vulnerable households

In this context, it was recommended to develop decentralised campaigns, favouring a bottom-up approach. Moreover, the creation of financing schemes would facilitate access to technology (microcredit and assistance for the most vulnerable households). Finally, the development of local partnerships would extend the scope of the project and increase the number of potential beneficiaries.

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