On 10 September 2014, Tanzania’s First Lady, Mrs. Salma Kikwete, inaugurated the 10,000th biogas digester constructed under the Tanzania Domestic Biogas Partnership Programme, which is currently providing access to clean and sustainable energy in rural areas of Tanzania.
Mrs. Kikwete stressed the benefits of this technology for women, as it reduces indoor air pollution caused by traditional cooking with firewood and charcoal, while significantly reducing the time needed to collect firewood: “More than 4 hours daily!”, she exclaimed. Speaking from experience, as she owns a digester herself on the family farm, she underlined the importance of the by-product of biogas digesters, bio-slurry, used as a fertiliser to increase crop production and income. She encouraged fellow citizens to invest in this technology, personally committing to the installation of 10 biogas digesters as demo plants in different villages throughout Bagamoyo district.
The representative of the Rural Energy Agency (REA) of the Ministry of Energy and Minerals confirmed a financial contribution to the programme from the Tanzanian government in collaboration with NORAD. This would be aimed at reducing the investment costs for households and at targeting a further 10,000 households. Ms. Hinke Nauta, Deputy Ambassador of the Netherlands to Tanzania, pointed out how important public private cooperation is in the pioneering work of SNV and Hivos in the field of biogas. She also mentioned the crucial role of the Netherlands’ investment in biogas market development, with a contribution of €4.8 million specifically for Tanzania. With little more than 100 digesters constructed in 2009 its first year of operations, and almost 4,000 in 2013 alone, the tremendous growth of the programme is a testament to its success.
The Tanzania Programme is part of ABPP, a public private partnership between development organisations Hivos, SNV Netherlands Development Organisation and the Directorate General for International Cooperation (DGIS) of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. ABPP supports five national biogas programmes in Africa (Kenya, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Uganda and Burkina Faso) through a combination of investments, trade and, to a small extent, grants.
This is a condensed version of the report originally published by our partner SNV