Cooking with Biogas
Since June 2012, the REHAU project team leaders have been hard at work to drastically and lastingly improve living conditions in the countryside of Kogelo, Kenya. They are focused on making rural areas into attractive places to live in harmony with nature. Using the resources that are available to the country and its people is the guiding principle in this endeavor and the close cooperation involved produced an innovative project: ‘REHAU HomeGas’.
An innovative micro biogas plant, inexpensive to acquire but efficient and perfectly tuned to local circumstances is the ideal way to facilitate cooking locally. Cow dung is one of the essential ingredients for obtaining a reliable, steady gas flame from the micro biogas plant. “Instead of simply just giving money, our approach is to develop sustainable solutions”, says Ingo von Ramdohr, Head of REHAU Sales Office International Business Development BAU in Erlangen. This complies with the purpose of providing “help for self-help”.
People in Kogelo live in simple dwellings, some with no electricity and without running water. Cooking is normally achieved with a single pot placed on a primitive stove built of clay and stone. The fuel is wood. This fills the dwellings with smoke which is often the cause of serious respiratory illnesses and eye inflammation amongst the population. Additionally, people often spend many hours searching for precious firewood. Most of the region is already deforested. Places where verdant forest once stood are now nothing but bare, dry land.
As the REHAU system means the time-consuming task of collecting scarce firewood is no longer necessary, the uncontrolled deforestation is reduced and children have more time to attend school. Also, buying cows and producing milk provides an extra source of income for local people.
Four micro biogas plants have already been installed in Kogelo. The biogas plants are e.g. located at the Kogelo primary school and the other two at farms in the village.
Ingo von Ramdohr (firstname.lastname@example.org)
REHAU Sales Office International Business Development BAU in Erlangen, Germany