The Chamber of Deputies will Monday afternoon deliberate the Prime Minister’s request to postpone the session in which the Minister of Infrastructure was to provide responses to issues identified in the biogas programme to its Plenary Sitting. Infrastructure Minister was expected to appear before the Lower Houses Plenary Session tomorrow, February 8. However, it appears that the reason the prime minister sought the extension was because the new infrastructure minister and the state minister in the same ministry have not been sworn in. President Paul Kagame last week appointed Claver Gatete, the outgoing Minister of Infrastructure as Rwanda’s Permanent Representative at the United Nations in New York. In November 2019, the Parliament made a resolution to ask the Prime Minister to overhaul the national biogas programme after it found that it was not yielding the intended results. The legislators made the resolution as they adopted the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee’s assessment report based on the 2017/2018 Auditor General’s report on State Finances. “After realising that the biogas programme was not well studied and followed up properly, which led to various issues in its implementation, we request that the programme be revised within three months so that it achieves the objectives for which it was designed,” reads the resolution. The AG’s report pointed to a number of concerns over the biogas programme that may threaten its sustainability. They included a high rate of non-operating plants whereby in the eleven districts it was implemented, 32 per cent were not operating, leaving beneficiaries with no option but to use firewood or charcoal as fuel. The number of inoperative biogas digesters has been increasing. Meanwhile, the report also indicated the lack of an updated database of biogas plants for beneficiaries in nine districts. These included Kirehe, Nyamagabe, Nyabihu, Nyamasheke, Gasabo, Kayonza, Gicumbi, Rwamagana and Karongi districts. As a result, it pointed out that the status of the programme in these districts could not be confirmed, which demonstrates laxity in the monitoring of the biogas project. As per the Rwanda Household Survey 2019/2020 report produced by the National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda (NISR), 77.7 per cent of Rwandan households used firewood as cooking fuel, 17.5 per cent used charcoal, while 4.2 per cent used gas or biogas. Rwanda targets to reduce the rate of Rwandan households using firewood for cooking to 42 per cent by 2024 as the country seeks to adopt clean cooking energy solutions and reduce household air pollution emissions, according to data from the Ministry of Infrastructure. Biogas was one of the clean cooking energy solutions that were expected to help achieve that target.