The use of biogas in prisons has helped reduce risks associated with using firewood, improved hygiene but, more importantly, cut down the cost of buying firewood.
According to prisons officials, since they started using biogas, they have registered huge positive impact both on human life and economically.
Addressing a news conference on Wednesday, the Commissioner General of Rwanda Correctional Services (RCS), George Rwigamba, said that all the prisons were committed to using biogas in all correctional facilities as alternative energy source to reduce firewood cost and help protect the environment.
“All the prisons are using biogas and we have managed to save Rwf543 million we spent annually on firewood,” he said.
Rwamagana prison has 12 digesters that generate biogas energy from inmates’ waste
Bugesera prison was the first to maximise the use of biogas and it uses 90 per cent for cooking and only two bundles of firewood to complement the biogas, according to the officials.
Use of biogas also ended foul smell and the issue of latrines which were often full while the remains after biogas are used as manure that is used to increase yield on prisons’ farms.
In 2007, RCS committed to use biogas in all its correctional facilities as an alternative energy source. It also supports various institutions and individuals who wish to have biogas as it provides inmates experienced in installing biogas.
Meanwhile, Rwigamba said that over the last fiscal year 2016-17 and during the first quarter of this fiscal year, RCS generated over Rwf515 million against the annual target of Rwf700 million from income generating activities.
Construction activities by inmates helped the country save Rwf790.8 million, the amount of money that could have been used in construction activities in Rwamagana, and Rubavu prisons as well as Rwamagana training school.
Rwanda prisons house some 64,757 inmates in 13 facilities across the country of whom 28,806 are incarcerated for crimes related to the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.