Using a small-scale biogas plant allows I-Afrika to join the growing list of Kenyan organisations that are opting for clean and cheaper energy sources.
The biogas plant is commissioned by Airtel Kenya and will help the I-Afrika institution produce enough biogas that it needs for cooking and boiling water, saving it thousands of shillings that would have been used on gas and coal that was used to cooking and heating for the institution’s students.
The small-scale biogas plant consists of a digester, in which bacteria convert animal dung into methane gas through the process of anaerobic digestion.
According to I-Afrika Director Peter Nduati, "The institution has been using the digester for a month now and we have seen great strides towards improving the lives of our young ones. The project is saving on wood that would otherwise be needed prepare meals and boil water for children to bathe. Previously, we used to spend Sh8 000 on 2 tonnes of firewood per month the money that would have been used for this expense is now being utilised to cater for other critical needs for the children. As an institution, we are now glad to be part of environment conversation."
Nduati added that the institution also managed to save on fertiliser expenses as the by-product of the digester was used as farm manure.
Davis Nyaberi, the school cook, explained that cooking with biogas had a number of advantages over firewood. "Cooking with biogas is convenient and safe. It has made my work much easier and more enjoyable. Before, I used to wake up as early as 4am to start boiling water for the children to bathe as well as preparing breakfast. The biogas also doesn't produce smoke that is dangerous to health."
Speaking while commissioning the biogas plant, Airtel Kenya CEO Adil El Youssefi emphasised that the project is part of Airtel's spirit to support sustainable goals of the people in the community. El Youssefi urged the school to take advantage of the biogas digester and teach the children and the community on the efficiency of the plant and replicate the same to save energy and the environment in the locality.
I-Afrika is a grassroots organisation which provides holistic care for boys who had been left to fend for themselves on the streets of Nairobi. Directed by Peter Nduati, the centre is a registered Kenyan charity and works in close collaboration with the Kenyan Children's Office, the Kenya police force and numerous other children's centres.