RWAMAGANA- The Eastern Province will promote the use of biogas as an alternative to firewood and charcoal.
During a meeting of mayors and officials from the Ministry of Infrastructure, yesterday, the Executive Secretary of the Eastern Province, Yusuf Mugiraneza, said the move would reduce existing pressures on the environment.
He explained that the campaign would see a number of biogas plants installed in prisons, schools, hospitals and farms, as the major source of energy.
“With the success of the One-cow–per-family program, the majority of homes can start using biogas. It is mainly a question of public awareness…people have learnt from their neighbours and are embracing biogas he said.
The officer in charge of the Biogas Program in the ministry, Jean Claude Uwizeye, emphasised its importance, saying that biogas use would reduce the felling of trees, which are vital in checking soil degradation and erosion.
“We have installed biogas in various institutions and the results are overwhelmingly interesting. One cubic metre of biogas containing up to 65 percent of CH4, can replace 5.5 kg of firewood…so we can save our forests,” he revealed.
Francois Ntiyotwagira, the Mayor of Ngoma District, pointed out that there was still a lot to be done to make the project a success.
“Loans to facilitate installation of biogas infrastructure should be speeded up…otherwise, our districts have a lot of potential and enough cows to provide materials for biogas. We need financial support to speed up biogas installation,” he appealed.
Biogas development is part of the country’s efforts towards realising the Millennium Development (MDGs) to protect the environment.