Mberengwa villagers adopt biogas as a source of energy

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Chenjerai Maisva

Biogas has become the main energy source in Mberengwa District with villagers adopting the source of energy to preserve their forest from deforestation, this publication can reveal.

As the interest in renewable energy is gathering momentum biogas production is growing steadily with people in the rural areas adopting the natural process.

The project of biogas energy is being spearheaded by organizations that are programming in the district, operating under Enhancing Community Resilience Inclusive Marketing System (ECRIMS) project through the establishment of the Zimbabwe Resilience Building Fund (ZRBF).

One of the beneficiaries told this publication that biogas has comes as a huge reprieve to women and the elderly members who play a critical role in making sure food is prepared in the homes.

“For me the advantage of using biogas is that it saves the forest. In addition it makes life easier for the women and the elderly who experience the dailies hurdles fetching firewood. It also saves women from the being abused by men in the forest so I think this is a great initiative. It does not require much labor. What is needed is just cow dung then that is it,” she said.

Mr Marashanye one of ward 6 of Mberengwa district indicated that he initially adopted the biogas project as a source of energy with reluctance.

“When the biogas project came, we doubted it. We never thought it was a real project that could bring positive change into our lives. In the process we learnt that biogas is a clean form of energy that will save the environment. The pressure on trees was so huge that our future was bleak. Biogas has actually made our lives simple because I can just wake up and start cooking without the trouble of fetching firewood. I also want to urge other villagers to know that Biogas to embrace this form of energy,” he said.

One of the village heads in the area, Gibson Gwenhamo said the programme will go a long way in preserving the soil and even the air people breathe while reducing global warming.

“We joined the Biogas project when we realized that firewood was becoming scarce in the community. So we realised that using biogas would preserve our forest. Using biogas as a clean energy is cheap as cow dung is readily available. This is a very cheap way for people in the rural areas, there are no maintenance costs needed. Once installed them that will be it. Our forests will be replenished thereby preserving the soil and even the air we breathe resultantly reducing global warming. Biogas is a very good programme for the community. There is a lot we benefit from the energy source because we are enjoying a locally available clean energy source. This is a great initiative and we encourage everyone to partake part,” he said.

Another Village head, Mavurawa highlighted that it was a losing battle discouraging villagers from cutting down trees without giving them another alternative on what they should do but now biogas has changed the situation making it easier for our people to embrace this initiative.

“As village heads we are very much grateful for this biogas project. At first we did not understand what was really going on but after the demonstrations were conducted we were convinced that most of our people are could now adopt the energy source. As leaders we had not envisioned that there were such immediate options to protect the environment. Previously we used to just discourage cutting down of trees but our people would say, ‘we have no alternative’. We are grateful this project targets us as a rural community to protect our environment,” he said.

Biogas is an environmentally-friendly, renewable energy source that is cheap to use and it is a great form for those in rural areas.

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