As the campaign to promote the use of biogas for cooking and lighting intensifies, concerns are being raised over the cost of installation and maintenance.
Fixing the smallest plant of biogas costs Rwf 600,000, according to Timothy Kayumba, who heads the National Domestic Biogas Program.
Daniel Muganga, a resident of Ndera in Gasabo says; “We are willing to use biogas, but the price of installation should be reduced so that we can all benefit.”
Eng. Coletha Ruhamya, the Minister of State for Energy and Water, told The New Times that the government had launched an incentive to lend Frw300,000 to anyone willing to install the system.
The money is then refunded within a period of three years.
“Sure, there is a big problem in affordability of the biogas plant, but the government currently contributes Rwf300,000 to every citizen wishing to install the energy,” the Minister said, adding that the Ministry is also looking into more affordable biogas-systems.
Meanwhile, Kayumba disclosed that the ministry had seconded a qualified technician to every two districts countrywide to approve the safety of any newly installed plant before use.
They also sensitise citizens on the sustainable use and maintenance of the systems.
Kigali-based Lycee de Kigali Secondary School is one of the users of the biogas system.
Martin Masabo, the director of the school says that some users are hampered by lack of the qualified technicians.
“For instance, our system was constructed in 1999 when the expertise here was low; it started leaking after using it for a short while and we closed it down,” he says.
Kayumba, however, said that companies that install the plants are required to provide their clients with a one-year warranty.
He clarifies that a well constructed plant should have a minimum lifespan of 30 years.
Over 1,300 homes have acquired biogas, in addition to various institutions including schools and prisons.