Biogas Carbon Offsetting Project in Tanzania

In rural Tanzania 30 million people (80% of the population) cook over an open wood or charcoal fires. This figure translates to approximately 30 million people. Cooking on open fires is inefficient and fuels deforestation, climate change, and health issues associated with smoke inhalation. Tanzanian women often need to travel great distances to collect wood, an already scarce commodity. This threatens their safety and physical wellbeing as they carry wood on their backs for hours at a time, every day.

Background

Hivos, in partnership with SNV Netherlands, introduced bio-digesters to Africa several years ago with the Africa Biogas Partnership Programme (ABPP). Our biogas offsetting project in Tanzania uses the expertise gained from bio-digester initiatives to stimulate the transition to biogas. This is a much cleaner energy than charcoal and wood.

The carbon offset project stimulates the transition from open fire cooking using to the use of biogas as a non-harmful alternative. After being introduced in Kenya, Uganda and Ethiopia, the programme has reached  Tanzania. Here, farmers generally have a small number of cows in addition to their agricultural holding. While cooking over an open fire is strongly embedded in Tanzanians, a local campaign is educating communities about the benefits of biogas. The aim is to make the switch to this cleaner, more efficient alternative easier.

The Solution

Our biogas carbon offsetting project in Tanzania revolves around biodigesters that provide farming families with clean fuel for cooking. This comes over and above a fertile organic slurry (a bi-product), which can be used as natural fertiliser. The digesters save on fuel costs and reduce the workload of collecting firewood. As such, biogas fights deforestation. The gas can also replace kerosene lanterns, which are commonly used in Tanzania for lighting.

More than 12,000 Tanzanian families have access to biogas produced by our biogas offsetting project. This has shown positive results in terms of fighting deforestation. Families, after all, no longer rely on wood for cooking and lighting. There has also been a reduction in the use of charcoal, kerosene and fossil fuel-based fertilisers. Another advantage is that households are saving money.

In addition, a new industry sector for biogas operators and bricklayers has emerged. Women from local communities have indicated that cooking with gas is much faster, while farmers state that the ‘slurry’ is a good fertiliser for rice and vegetables. And of course, there is a considerable reduction in carbon emissions.

The Partnership

The African Biogas Partner Programme by Hivos is supported by SNV, a Dutch development organisation. It was launched with various subsidies, with the aim of making the project self-supporting by using carbon financing. In June 2015, the Hivos Climate Fund officially certified our biogas offsetting project in Tanzania via the Gold Standard. The sale of carbon credits to companies who are looking to reduce their environmental impact is allowing this project to flourish.

Buy carbon offsets from this biogas initiative to help guarantee the project’s sustainable continuation and growth!

Key SDGs impacted

Supporting the Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs, Sustainability, sustainable business, social development, climate neutral group, business SDGs
Supporting the Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs, Sustainability, sustainable business, social development, climate neutral group, business SDGs
Supporting the Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs, Sustainability, sustainable business, social development, climate neutral group, business SDGs
Supporting the Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs, Sustainability, sustainable business, social development, climate neutral group, business SDGs
Supporting the Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs, Sustainability, sustainable business, social development, climate neutral group, business SDGs
Supporting the Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs, Sustainability, sustainable business, social development, climate neutral group, business SDGs

Benefits:

Environment
  • One biogas installation:
    • Saves an average of 8.5 tonnes of CO2 and 4,667 kg of wood per year
    • Provides clean fuel
    • Improves the living conditions on the farms
    • Saves more than 1,500 hectares of forest

Social and Health

  • Biogas lanterns provide more light in the house
  • Women save time because they no longer have to collect wood and because they can cook faster
  • Biogas causes 100% less indoor air pollution
  • Less chance of pneumonia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and lung cancer
  • Improved hygiene because of the availability of toilets
Economic
  • Cost savings on wood, charcoal and fertiliser
  • 91 permanent jobs created locally and about 300 bricklayers have regular work building bio-digesters
  • Improves agriculture through the use of the fertile organic “slurry”
  • Less depletion of the land because less artificial fertiliser is used
  • More time for women to take on paid work