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Uganda turning animal waste-to-power

Having the capacity to churn animal waste and wastewater into electricity is saving Ugandan Abattoir $1 005 a month, the Thomson Reuters Foundation reported.

The Kampala city’s largest abattoir, has received funds from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) through the Bio Resources Innovations Network for Eastern Africa (Bio-Innovate) to provide them with an organic power generation system to supply the business with a reliable power source.

Instead of having to rely on emergency power generators which are costly and ‘dirty’ to provide power when power outages can last up to 12 hours a day, the abattoir is now able to reduce costs and the amount of pollution it adds to nearby landfills and water reserves.

“We are generating on average about 10 to 15 cubic metres of biogas daily,” said Joseph Kyambadde, head of biochemistry at Makerere University and a project participant.

“With 60 cubic metres of gas we (would be) able to run about 15 security lights, 15 deep freezers and 15 refrigerators at the abattoir, helping save around 8 million Ugandan shillings ($2,800) per month,” Kyambadde said.

Robinson Odong, a biological sciences lecturer at Makerere University and a manager of the biogas project added that the abattoir uses solar panels to heat water and increase the temperature in the digester to produce the most optimal methane gas to burn for power.

“We are now spending 300,000 Ugandan shillings ($105) per month on diesel instead of 3.5 million shillings ($1,200), as the generator now runs on biogas during power blackouts,” said Nsubuga Muhamed, the Kampala city abattoir secretary.

“There are plans to upscale the technology to completely rely on biogas and sell the excess (energy) to the national grid”, Kyambadde said.

“We are an energy-poor country, with 95[%] of rural households having no access to electricity”, said Ronald Kaggwa, an environmental economist at the Uganda National Environmental Management Authority.


(Pic Credits: the mirror)

Nicolette Pombo-van Zyl
As the Editor of ESI Africa, my passion is on sustainability and placing African countries on the international stage. I take a keen interest in the trends shaping the power & water utility market along with the projects and local innovations making headline news. Watch my short weekly video on our YouTube channel ESIAfricaTV and speak with me on what has your attention.


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