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The Ministry of Energy will soon establish 100,000 bio-digesters across Zambia to boost power generation in the country.

Speaking in an interview with NAIS in Lusaka, Ministry of Energy, Senior Energy Officer Agnelli Kafuwe said the move is aimed at providing alternative energy sources and reduce over-reliance on hydro-electricity. 

Mr. Kafuwe explained that Zambia like other countries, has the capacity to produce electricity using other energy sources such as biogas and solar.

He noted that investing in alternative energy sources can help to reduce the impact of load shedding that is disrupting activities in various sectors in the country.

“Zambia has everything required to produce enough biogas to be used for various activities such as cooking and lighting. Germany is currently producing 5,800 megawatts of biogas for electricity production which Zambia can also attain provided proper mechanisms are put in place,” Mr. Kafuwe said.

A bio-digester is a septic tank which contains waste materials such as cow dung, poultry waste and sewerage that allows people to recycle water and produce biogas using environmentally friendly procedures. The system consists of a sealed chamber where bacteria break down waste from waste water in an oxygen-free environment.

And SNV Netherlands Development Organisation through the Increasing Climate Resilience in Energy, Agriculture Systems and Entrepreneurship [INCREASE-] project said it is collaborating with various ministries and stakeholders to help communities embrace the Bio-digester technology in Zambia.

INCREASE Project Manager John Masinde indicated that the programme targets to establish 10,000 bio-digesters in the project implementation areas.

Mr. Masinde added that through financing from the Swedish government, the project has so far installed 8000 bio-digesters which are being used by beneficiaries to produce biogas for cooking and lighting among others.

Meanwhile, Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock Chief Livestock Development Officer Vincent Simoongwe emphasized that Bio-digester technology should be embraced by farmers as it can help to boost livestock production and productivity.

M.r Simoongwe explained that the bio slurry that is also produced from bio-digesters can be used by farmers to fertilize pasture for their livestock. “The processes inside the bio septic tank produce biogas, usable water and occasionally bio-fertilizer. This nutrient-rich, organic slurry supports plant growth and enriches as well as balances the soil,” Mr. Simoongwe explained.

He stressed that with the intensity of climate change negatively affecting various aspects of human life, there is need for more mitigation measures. Mr. Simoongwe said measures such as Bio-digester technology can play a significant role in providing alternative energy sources and improving agricultural production while sustaining the environment.

And Ministry of Agriculture Principal Engineer- Structures and Processing Mushanyi Simutowe affirmed that the increased uptake of Bio-digester technology among communities is key in guaranteeing their resilience to climate change and providing alternative energy sources. -NAIS

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