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June 26. 2017

IRUWA solar water heating systems now in Ethiopia!

Biogas Taita / Iruwa have facilitated a workshop and training on our solar water heating system in Ethiopia for MCMDO-REESDE, a local NGO in Addis Ababa. Part of the objectives was to adjust the Kenyan version to a 100% locally produced Ethiopian version with easily available local materials. Seen the available materials in Ethiopia are significantly different then in Kenya, the team had to overcome some challenges. Though, through creative solutions, Quirin managed to build a complete system which has been put up at the NGO for demonstration. Some further improvements will be made in November, when our team will be back in Addis for the implementation of the Koromi Village project. 

It is envisaged to facilitate another training with the Don Bosco Technical school, and build local capacity for local production and distribution of the system in Ethiopia together with MCMDO-REESDE in the longer term.
We are currently discussing a first pilot project with a lodge in Tigray area.

 

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June 12. 2017

Feasibility Study Koromi Village, Ethiopia

Biogas Taita has just completed a Feasibility Study for the right mix of Biogas and Solar applications with partner MCMDO-REESDE, in remote Koromi Village, Harari Region in Ethiopia., A very interesting project including intensive community engagement, consultation and training, and with the most beautiful people and community. After all, it's all about the people, not the pipes and the panels.

The village is over a 1000 year old and not much has changed over time. Due to deforestation, climate change and increasing drought, overpopulation etc, water and firewood are becoming very hard to access and basically take the entire day to collect by the women in the village. Due to its remoteness, there is no access to electricity and the villagers are unable to develop economic activities, leaving them behind the rest of the country.


Because of the unique community spirit and very organised women's group, Biogas Taita is constructing a 60m3 communal biogas digester with a small kitchen in the Kiosk and with 20 gas balloons and cookers for people to fill and take home on rotating basis. The women are in charge of collecting the cow-dung from their families, and collected over 700 kilos in just one day from 100 families. Furthermore, the project includes a community kitchen/cafe, a solar energy kiosk, solar lanterns and home systems on microloan, biogas balloons for distribution, phone charging station, locally produced low-cost improved cookstoves, fertilizer distribution including donkeys, and fertilizer storage tank and drying bed.


The implementation phase of the project will be in November - December. The project is funded by the French Embassy in Ethiopia, Blue Energy, Synergy Solare and MCMDO.

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April 18. 2017

Update Project House development

Our project house is coming along. Once finished it will not only act as a home for the staff of the SOFIs WORLD Foundation and Biogas Taita Project but mainly as a demonstration house for applied technologies and innovative building techniques. Therefore it will be open for interested visitors, universities and local contractors. Also it will be used as a guest house and meeting place for locals, oversee volunteers, students, bird watchers and other visitors.
All walls of the two story house are build from natural and locally available materials like the excavated rough stone, building stone from a nearby quarry, burned clay bricks from the neighboring village and rammed soil using the soil from the excavation. Furthermore, the house is designed for optimal natural light and ventilation as well as for natural temperature and moister control and includes a lot of creative features such as mosaic tiling, naturally grown timber pillars, swahili style ceilings, walls from recycled plastic bottles and glass bottles for light. While the rammed soil and natural stone walls are mostly even left un-plastered all other walls are plastered with lime mortar avoiding cement wherever possible allowing the walls to regulate the inside room climate and make the house a comfortable living space.
Furthermore the house will use biogas from kitchen and animal waste for cooking, urine diversion compost toilets will reduce the amount of water wasted and provide rich fertilizer for the garden, kitchen and bathrooms will get free and sustainably generated hot water all year round from our locally produced solar water heaters while the waste water will be treated naturally through a reed bed filter and reused for irrigation. A solar PV system will provide the electricity for the whole house and a 25 thousand liter rain water tank will store enough water to gap the dry season.

 

Remember its a demonstration house an meeting space.
Feel free to come, visit and be inspired!

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March 18. 2017

Follow up meeting with Kiandutu slum community

So far, the facility has received quite a number of visitors for not only the toilets, but also many have enjoyed a hot shower heated by our solar water heating systems on the roof. The community members are enjoying the facility, and praised it's cleaniness.

Furthermore, the water kiosk is also doing well, providing many people with clean water at low cost. The biogas is almost full and in the next few weeks we are going to connect the biogas-stove, so the management team can start another generating income activity; cooking chai and snacks on the biogas for selling, and starting collection of other waste that will boost the gas and allows far more cooking hours.
To boost promotion of the services of the facility, a 'promotion' month is planned by the community group for April, and to increase accessibility for children, the price for children will be lowered to only 1 or 2 KSH instead of 5KSH per visit. Other arrangements will be made with the immediate surrounding families to avoid open defecation (monthly small fee for the whole family for unlimited use) etc. We discussed challenges and successes, and have discussed some improvements that can be made, including solution for the intermittent water supply to the facility. Overall, it was a very good meeting and we are looking forward to the next few weeks of development of the services of the facility!

 

 

 

 

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February 8. 2017

New Project House Development

SOFI’s World Centre for Innovation and Applied Technology has begun the built of a new project-house which will demonstrate ecological building and applied technology to the local community. It will include innovative and creative ecological building techniques, a compost toilet, solar PV, solar water heating, biogas and working with recycling such as glass, plastics and ‘waste’ materials

To share experience and skills, and to raise young people’s awareness and increase skills around ecological building, we are working together with students from the local polytechnic school, who are doing their attachment on site. This will not only give them an unique working experience, but will also hopefully raise their interest in using similar more environmentally sound building techniques that will increase natural ventilation, climate control, and that makes use of locally available and abundant materials.

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February 1. 2017

Collaboration with Anglican Development Society Eastern

In collaboration with Anglican Development Society - Eastern, we have given a training to the staff working in and with the local communities to create awareness, and to increase the uptake of renewable energy technologies to reduce our impact on the environment. At the same time, we installed a demonstration system on the roof together with the women who came to our training in Nairobi and who have become part of the our sales & installation team. The women are already installing Solar PV, have an engineering background, and have taken this up to increase their entrepreneurial services. It was great to have the staff of ADS-Eastern involved, and to have these wonderful women installing the system!

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January 14. 2017

Solar Water Heating at Bura Orphanage

Last week, the Solar team has installed a 100 liter solar water heating system at St Joseph Children Home. The system was generously donated by our volunteer Anton Hilger's grandmother!
 

The children's home is taking care of 44 children in need of care and protection with various case histories and backgrounds. St Joseph Children Home is registered Charitable children home managed by the St Joseph sisters of Mombasa located in Bura Mission. It´s the only home in Taita Taveta county that takes care of infant babies and therefore they receive cases of abandoned and neglected children from all the sub-counties in Taita Taveta County.

We would like to thank Anton Hilger's grandmother very much on behalf of the beneficiaries of the system (children and staff), and of course the solar team.
 

If you are interested in supporting communities, schools, orphanages etc in acquiring solar water heating used for washing, cooking, bathing and cleaning, reducing the need for firewood to heat the water thereby contributing to a more healthy environment, reduced deforestation and reduced living costs, we would love to hear from you.

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December 22. 2016

Burqa village biogas feasibility study in Ethiopia

By invititation of MCMDO (a French NGO) and the French Embassy in Ethiopia, Biogas Taita has undertaken a feasibility study for a biogas project in remote and rural Ethiopia. After spending a week in the area, and having met the community members and the powerful women’s group in the village, Biogas Taita, together with MCMDO has come up with a new proposal addressing the needs of the community. The project aims to bridge a 1000 year old lifestyle with sustainable renewable technology applications that match the environment, are economically feasible and efficient, fit into daily life and which will improve livelihoods, health and reduce our impact on the environment.

 

Considering the close engagement and involvement of relevant stakeholders, including the regional Government and relevant organisations, we see this project as an excellent learning and capacity building platform for everyone involved. This includes the implementing organisation MCMDO, which will internally build capacity to link its current activities to include an energy component in line with their aims to address women and children, allowing them to take a more holistic approach to their current projects and by integrating this component, leveraging off their current activities increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of their projects overall.

 

Due to the lack of feedstock which can be produced by one or few families, the biogas digester will be run by a women’s group who will collect the cowdung from the village (a practice that is already in place to use the cowdung for fertilizer). Furthermore, the digester is connected to three public toilet blocks and will be maintained by the group. The gas will be used for different purposes to be decided by the group. Ideas are to start a communal kitchen, a kiosk for tourists (there are visitors to this unique village but there is nothing there for them), to direct some to individual households as a showcase and we hope to power the milling machine which is currently out of order due to the high diesel prices.
The strong communal and collective sense of the community is a key element of the implementation of this project. Profits go to an existing community savings fund and will be allocated to further renewable energy applications and investments within the community.

 

The combination of technologies being implemented most efficiently according to their usage and source of energy will provide a powerful example of how to serve rural communities and provide off-grid access to energy resources, thereby increasing health, economy and improve their immediate living environment. The biogas is one component of addressing the needs of the community, thereby being a showcase for the technology to be introduced and implemented in other or similar contexts in the region.  

 

Burqa village feasibility study in Ethiopia

 

By invititation of MCMDO (a French NGO) and the French Embassy in Ethiopia, Biogas Taita has undertaken a feasibility study for a biogas project in remote and rural Ethiopia. After spending a week in the area, and having met the community members and the powerful women’s group in the village, Biogas Taita, together with MCMDO has come up with a new proposal addressing the needs of the community. The project aims to bridge a 1000 year old lifestyle with sustainable renewable technology applications that match the environment, are economically feasible and efficient, fit into daily life and which will improve livelihoods, health and reduce our impact on the environment.

 

Considering the close engagement and involvement of relevant stakeholders, including the regional Government and relevant organisations, we see this project as an excellent learning and capacity building platform for everyone involved. This includes the implementing organisation MCMDO, which will internally build capacity to link its current activities to include an energy component in line with their aims to address women and children, allowing them to take a more holistic approach to their current projects and by integrating this component, leveraging off their current activities increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of their projects overall.

 

Due to the lack of feedstock which can be produced by one or few families, the biogas digester will be run by a women’s group who will collect the cowdung from the village (a practice that is already in place to use the cowdung for fertilizer). Furthermore, the digester is connected to three public toilet blocks and will be maintained by the group. The gas will be used for different purposes to be decided by the group. Ideas are to start a communal kitchen, a kiosk for tourists (there are visitors to this unique village but there is nothing there for them), to direct some to individual households as a showcase and we hope to power the milling machine which is currently out of order due to the high diesel prices.
The strong communal and collective sense of the community is a key element of the implementation of this project. Profits go to an existing community savings fund and will be allocated to further renewable energy applications and investments within the community.

 

The combination of technologies being implemented most efficiently according to their usage and source of energy will provide a powerful example of how to serve rural communities and provide off-grid access to energy resources, thereby increasing health, economy and improve their immediate living environment. The biogas is one component of addressing the needs of the community, thereby being a showcase for the technology to be introduced and implemented in other or similar contexts in the region.  

 

 

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December 20. 2016

Lecture Biogas French Lyceum Addis Ababa

Biogas Taita has given a lecture to about 30 science students at the French lyceum in Addis Ababa. The students were very keen to learn about the application of biogas technology in ‘real life’ and asked many questions.
It sparked the interest of many students in applied renewable technology in a developing context such as in their own country. 

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December 18. 2016

Second Internship Polytechnic Students at IRUWA workshop

Polytechnic Students from Mwanda did a week internship at the workshop from 13.12 to the 17.12. Like the first group, they really enjoyed learning about solar water heating, renewable technology and applications. This time, unlike the first group, we were happy to host mostly girls interested in the technology.

From the two groups of students, two students stayed for another week as they were standing out and were very interested in becoming an employee in the workshop. Obviously, we support young talented and motivated people and we hope to soon add two new young members to the production team.

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December 5. 2016

Demonstration System at SERC

We have installed a demonstration solar water heating 'bucket' system at the prestigeous Strathmore Energy Research Centre, part of Strathmore University. Upon installation, many visitors paid attention to the system wanting to have more information. A great partnership with the University that is giving us the opportunity to showcase an example of Kenyan produced applied technology. You can pay a visit at the University any time if you are interested in seeing the system.

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December 2. 2016

Solar Training Kiandutu Slum community

We have given a two day training on solar water heating systems to the community of Kiandutu slum as part of the installation of solar water heating systems at the Bio-Waste Centre. The solar water heating systems will be used to provide hot showers and will be an extra income generating activity for the community group running the centre. Training was provided for everyone interested. Lots of people turned up the first day to learn more about the technology and system and to take up the opportunity to become sales representatives starting their own business, and about 12 people showed up to learn more about installation. We hope to welcome many people from the community to the project and give them the opportunity to generate some additional income and increase their livelihoods. The systems will be permanently installed and piped just before the opening of the Bio-Waste centre in a few weeks time.

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November 29. 2016

Training for women in engineering & business

On 29 and 30 November, a training was held for a combination of Women in Sustainable Energy and Engineering, Women in Business, and some University of Nairobi Staff at he School for Built Environment, University of Nairobi.

The two-day training was supported by the University of Nairobi and mostly women from all sorts of background (mostly energy related) were attending the training to learn more about the technology and the system to increase their knowledge and take up solar water heating technology to expand their current business or to start a business in a new area. The participants asked a lot of good questions, and we had many good conversations in the class, from which everyone gained more insight, ideas and knowledge. A very succesful training with wonderful participants! We also had the system on display in the main entrance hall of the University, sparking a lot of questions and curiousity of the students passing by.

 

 

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November 28. 2016

Internship Polytechnic Students

Last week, our first group of Polytechnic Students conducted their internship of one week at our Centre for Applied Technoloy and Innovation in Wundanyi, where we produce the solar water heating systems. The students learned about solar technology, the system itself and how it can benefit the environment and the users. The internship provided by the IRUWA team aimed to engage and raise awareness around renewable energy technology applications and raise awareness around environmental issues and solutions. It was a great week and the students all went home with a certificate of successful participation, and hopefully a lot of new skills, ideas and insights.

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November 27. 2016

Great progress Bio-Waste Centre Kiandutu

We are making great progress with finishing the construction of the bio-waste centre in Kiandutu Slum in collaboration with Slum / Shack dwellers international and the Kiandutu community. The facility will have public toilets, hot (!) showers, two solar water heating systems produced by IRUWA, biogas digester, fertilizer storage, kitchen with biogas stoves, clean water kiosk, and space for extension of eating area later on.


Next week, we will start a training for the community members on our solar water heating systems, so they can join our team of sales representatives and installers, and become entrepreneurs.

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November 25. 2016

IRUWA at Lions Den

Fieke and Qui pitched the solar water heating project to the Lions at the Den, which was broadcasted last Monday on NTV (National Television Station). The Lions liked the product a lot, but we are to be found 'too social' as we are not prepared to mark up the product with a profit margin high enough to satisfy the Lions. We are after all a social enterprise, with the main aim to increase accesibility for all Kenyans and provide the system at the lowest possible costs. However, the Lions gave us some great advise, and the Lions Den provided us with a unique opportunity to showcase and promote our sysems and to raise awareness around the technology. We already received lots of great feedback messages from several viewers!

Watch the video HERE.

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November 22. 2016

Watch Maggie's experience with the SWH system

Today we went to visit Maggie, who since a little while has got a Majuamotizer. We asked her about
her experience so far, and how she used the system. She turned out to be very happy with the system
and told us it saves her lots of time, money for charcoal and it gives her extra comfort such as a daily warm shower and washing her cloth with warm/hot water. She furthermore uses the pre-heated water to cook tea and other things, as it takes little time and fuel to boil the the water. Watch Maggie telling her story here!! We have used a new application "Fieldreporter" to film her story, the application is still in it's 'beta' form, but we are using and testing it for further improvement. It's a great and easy tool to use (you can check it out:-).

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November 18. 2016

Training in Wundanyi

We had many interested people coming along to our second week of solar water heating training in Wundanyi.
The training included different days and modules, ranging from marketing & sales, to assessment and basic & advanced installation. On the last day, we did a practical installation on site of a client, connecting the system to the bathroom and supply tank in the house. Happy farmer and happy installers!

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November 2. 2016

Presentation University of Nairobi

Fieke Geerts presented the Majuamotizer (Solar Water Heating System) as an example of 'applied' technology and design to the design students at the Architecture Department as part of a 'Design with Social' Impact seminar.
The students were very engaged and inspired hearing from the different speakers including from social enterprise COREC, our partner for replacing the current timber stand for the systems with a stand made out of recycled plastics.

 

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October 28. 2016

IRUWA at Graduation Day Sunrise Academy in Mwatate

The IRUWA team were  invited to introduce the Majuamotizer (Solar Water Heating System) to the teachers, parents and guests at a special graduation day at the Sunrise Academy in Mwatate.

The Sunrise Academy in Mwatate is a private school for Children that go to the kindergarten (KG1, KG2, KG3) and the elementary school (class 1 to 6). On the graduation day the pupils from KG3 celebrate that they finished their last kindergarten year and are going to their first class in the elementary school. The day was filled with a diversified program including dance and singing performances, poems and role plays by the pupils. And speeches from the guests that came from all over the place. The main guest was Christopher Mwambingu from the Mwatate Constituency.

 

The team informed the attendees about what effects cutting trees and the usage of charcoal and firewood has for the environment and their personal health, and  the Majuamotizer can make a difference to their lives and at the same time reduces deforestion. After all the celelbrations and presentation, the IRUWA representatives showed the interested crowd how the Solar Water Heater works and how it could be of benefit for them. The team was met with enthusiastic responses from both parents, teachers and guests, and we hope we can soon install some more systems in Mwatate!

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October 14. 2016

3rd Prize at the Trade Show!

IRUWA has again won a prize for our innovative product, this time at the ASK Trade Show in Nairobi, which is the biggest of its kind in Kenya. We exhibited again at the Kenyan Technical Training College stand, falling under the category of education. The product received lots of good feedback and interest from the public. Many thanks to Ramah and Joyce for representing IRUWA at the stand for the whole week!

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September 29. 2016

The week of conferences and exhibitions

Two big conferences and one exhibition all in one week...!
Fieke attended both the SEED conference Nairobi, and the International Off-grid Renewable Energy Conference & Exhibition, while Quirin exhibited our solar system and gave out information about the bio-waste centres at the ILEG climate resilience good practice exchange exhibition in Kwale.

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September 23. 2016

Community meeting Bio-Centre Kiandutu Slum

Together with Slum Dwellers International and Mungaano Kenya, we are working with the community to finish the bio-centre in the Kiandutu Slum. Together with the community, we set priorities and discussed their vision of the building and facilities. After a long process, we worked together on understanding the limitations of the budget and how to invest the available money the best way so it will allow the community to generate the most income. Furthermore, the communtiy is selecting artisans to work with Quirin, and will provide procurement of the materials needed. We will start the construction on Monday, and hope to have finished the building by the end of October. The facility has a biogas digester for human waste from the toilets, solar water heating for hot showers, and a kitchen area.
In the meantime, Fieke will work with SDI on building the capacity of the community leaders and selected members to run the facility as a business, starting with governance, financial literacy, business plan, project plan, savings schemes etc.
The project has two sides to it, the technical ' physical' construction of the facility, and the social construction - meaning building capacity, empowering the community to become independent and build and govern a project together which will benefit their own community and will generate income and employment.
 

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September 20. 2016

Busia biogas for schools

On request of AMREF Health in Kenya, we have assessed two more schools in Busia for the installation of biogas and solar water heating as part of the FINISH-INK program. The schools can gain a lot not only from the gas produced by the biogas, but also to save the highly costly emptying of the latrines each term. Furthermore, the solar water heating systems can significantly reduce the amount of firewood used to heat water for cooking in the kitchen. Both schools are boarding schools, with around a 1000 students.
We also visited the farmer where we recently constructed a biogas plant as a demonstration plant for the community, and were happy to see that the gas was produced in abundance and the farmer could now connect the stove and start cooking with the biogas!
 

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September 9. 2016

Majuamotizer Training

The first training on sales, marketing, assessment and installment of the Majuamotizer has been held in Wundanyi last week. It was great to have so many interested and enthusiastic people joining us from as far as Nairobi.

 

To become a certified sales & marketing person, and to be able to assess and install, at training given by the IRUWA team/trainers must be succesfully completed to guarantee our customers quality and service.

 

Do you want to become part of our team?
Contact us if you are interested in becoming a sales representative and/or installer of the Majuamotizer bucket system. More advanced installment training will be held in the next months also, and we are looking for technical people with plumbing skills and experience! We are looking forward hearing from you!

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September 3. 2016

Majuamotizer made by IRUWA

We now have an officially new name for our Solar Social Enterprise...'IRUWA'. Iruwa means Sun in Taita language.


The Solar Water Heating System has received the name 'Majuamotizer', coming from the words 'maji', 'jua' and 'moto'. Our volunteer Lenny has designed a new logo for IRUWATER and a new brochure will be available soon, as well as a new IRUWA website! The IRUWA workshop and office are at 'SOFIs World Centre for Innovation and Applied Technology' in Wundanyi, Taita Hills.
Come and visit us any time!
 

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September 2. 2016

Meet our new Solar System Production Team Members!

Meet Ramadhan and Vincent, our fantastic new members of the solar water system production team.
Vincent joined us two weeks ago all the way from Nairobi, while Ramadhan is living literally next to the workshop and has been involved on and off from the beginning. We are hapy to have them on board, Karibuni!

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August 30. 2016

First Prize!!

Our Solar Water Heater System (Majuamotizer) won the First Prize in ASK Show in Mombasa !
Biogas Taita joined the stand of Kenya Technical Teacher's College from Nairobi in Mombasa, and was awarded
with the first prize in its category.

The Kenyan President was supposed to visit all 'first' stands but due to the rain did not make the round after his
speech.

 

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August 28. 2016

We are in the TechnoPolicy Africa Journal!

Biogas Taita was featured with our Solar Water Heating System in the Technolopolicy Africa Journal!
This is a newsletter related to the International African Technologies Policy Studies Network. Great to be recognised by ATPS and to have our new innovation reaching out to so many people! You can find and read the newsletter here.

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August 24. 2016

Busia; First Field Visit with AMREF Health

Last week, Biogas Taita went to Busia for a field visit to schools in the area to promote and assess the possibility for biogas at the schools. The schools are very enthusiastic about it. The visit was organised by AMREF Health, our fantastic new partners, with whom we will work together on introducing biogas to farmers and schools in Busia County. We are looking at biogas as a solution for safe and cheap human waste disposal, to replace firewood for cooking, and to produce valuable fertilizer to boost the food production in the school’s shamba.

At the same time, the schools will become a role model and a demonstration site for the community, promoting and showcasing the benefits of the use of alternative energy, and how this technology could be applied in their daily lives.

We are not looking solely at biogas but are also assessing the opportunity for installing solar water heating systems, to pre-heat the water for cooking, and for cleaning purposes. Pre-heating the water for cooking will save a significant amount of firewood by itself and therefor is very cost efficient and good for our environment!

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August 23. 2016

Our Solar Lab is expanding!

Our Solar Water Heating System Lab on top of our new workshop is expanding slowly but steady...
Many people come to have a look at the artworks on the roof and are interested to know what it is...once they have heard the story, they immediately want one too...
Why don't you come and have a look yourself! The workshop is located just before Rocks Hotel, if you drive into Wundanyi on the right side of the main road.

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August 23. 2016

Samawati Dragons in action

Youth Group 'the Samawati Dragons' in action; fixing a pipe in the kitchen on St Mary's high school for the biogas burner to work again...and digging a hole for households in the area to dump certain waste which they will then collect, sort and recycle...Love these guys!

The Dragons bring over a tonne of shredded organic waste from the market weekly to St. Mary's High School that has a biogas but not enoug waste to optimise gas production. The boys get a fee per 20 kilos of waste from the school, and the school saves on firewood, which is much more expensive. The boys...they earn a little income out of this great initiative!

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August 23. 2016

Partnership Slum Dwellers International (SDI)

Great to be working with Slum Dwellers International on community-led sanitation and biogas facilities in the informal settlements ‘Kiandutu’ in Kiambu County, Thika.

Today we joined SDI in a community session aimed at empowering the community to take action and increase citizen participation so they can start to direct their own future, are better informed and raise their voices.

The project started with mapping the slum, giving each structure a physical address and creating a map. By doing so, people can refer to where they live, are existing and documented, and become true ‘residents’, raising their confidence and giving them identity. They also do a lot of advocacy and relocate slum dwellers, avoid evictions etc., while creating initiatives to improve their living area, and build local capacity and skills.

As part of improving the services in the area, and to build capacity, we have come in, to support and help them with the build and creation of a ‘bio-waste centre’, The community will run the facility which will generate income and as such jobs for community members, while providing sanitation, among other things.

As there are no toilet facilities, open defecation rate is very high in the settlement.
To avoid open defecation in the night and evening, we are now also looking at the option of building dry toilets in the near future that are scattered around closer to the homes for night-usage, of which the tank can be emptied in the biogas. The bio-waste centre will unfortunately be closed in the evening/nights because of security and safety reasons.

We are very happy to be partnering with the great team of SDI and Mungaano in Nairobi and look forward to work on many more great projects together.

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August 22. 2016

SAFE Humanitarian Working Group

Biogas Taita is honoured to have been accepted as an associate member of the Safe Access to Fuel and Energy Humanitarian Working group, working closely with the UN. We are part of their monthly conference call with NGOs accross the world to discuss, share and give our input. Furthermore, issues can be raised and discussed in smaller groups offline. Biogas Taita is happy to be able to learn, share and give input into this important forum.

Safe and sustainable access to energy is being increasingly recognized as a human right—essential for the safety, well-being, and productivity of the people the humanitarian community serves. It is also essential for social and economic development, offering opportunities for improved lives and economic progress.


Because of the cross-cutting nature of energy use and access, SAFE seeks to combine improved technologies, alternative fuels, and livelihood and environmental activities to:

  • Provide emergency support for cooking, lighting, heating, and powering needs to ensure the safety and well-being of displaced people, especially women and girls who are typically the most vulnerable during crises;
  • Help to shift communities away from dangerous and destructive dependence on woodfuel and towards healthier and more sustainable options;
  • Reduce exposure to risk of gender-based violence and other threats faced primarily by women and girls during firewood collection and while navigating communal areas of the camp (e.g. latrines) at night; and
  • Reduce the negative health impacts of household air pollution from burning solid fuels in enclosed spaces for cooking, lighting, and/or heating purposes.
  • Mitigate environmental degradation through agroforestry activities and reduced biomass consumption, contributing to disaster risk reduction and long-term food security.


Read more here about the Safe Humanitarian Working Group

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July 16. 2016

Our Project on National Television

Our Solar Water Heating System project will be featured on National Television in about 2 months time...we had fun filming today with the lovely film crew!

The program is featuring green innovations in Kenya and will be an excellent platform to introduce our product to the public!

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July 14. 2016

Africa Biogas Forum

This week, Biogas Taita had the honour to present our 'biogas for schools program' and 'community-led bio waste centres' at the Africa Biogas Forum in Nairobi. The presentation was very well received and gained a lot of interest from participants!

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May 20. 2016

Innovation Expo at KICC Nairobi

We have proudly presented our 100% locally produced solar water heating system for the first time to the public at the Innovation Expo organised by NETFUND, yesterday at the KICC in Nairobi. The product generated lots of interest from technical institutions to individual buyers. Happy!

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March 25. 2016

Africa Biogas and Clean Cooking Conference

This month, Biogas Taita had the honour to be invited to present our projects at the Africa Biogas and Clean Cooking Conference in Ethiopia. Our focus on not only building the bus, but also its driver(s) through extensive community engagement and capacity building, and by applying biogas technology in new and different contexts such as our bio-waste centres, was highly applauded by many in the room. Hopefully many new valuable and fruitful future collaborations will come out of the conference, which was attended by biogas and clean cooking experts from all over the world.

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March 25. 2016

Building a new workshop

We have started building our new workshop for our new project 'Iruwater'! We are using natural materials where possible, compacting the soil, and using natural stone. Once the workshop is finished, we will start with training local masons and artisans on producing solar water heating systems.
Our new two solar volunteers, Christopher and Michi from Germany, are doing an amazing job with the workshop and will also further improve the system in the coming months, as well as starting the production!

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February 1. 2016

Filling the Biogas Digester at Mwagafwa Polytechnic School

Together with the students part of the Biogas Club at the school, we have started to fill the big biogas digester at Mwagafwa Polytechnic Youth School. The biogas digester is almost full after a few trips to the slaughterhouse to get a big amount of cowdung to fill the digester quickly. Today, the students also brought kitchenwaste from home, which will now be collected daily. With the help of the students, we hope to produce a lot of gas soon so all the meals can be prepared with biogas instead of firewood...and maybe we will even have enough to prepare tea for the students in the morning as an extra treat!

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January 22. 2016

Biogain - A path to follow

Documentary shot on CanonDSLR about building and distributing small Biogasplants in KENIA as an healthy and ecologically worthwhile alternative instead of cooking with wood and fossil fuel.

 

A film by Georg Brenner and Melanie Drescher

Music: Martin Rieger

Narrator: David Tobias Schneider

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December 30. 2015

Mwagafwa Polytechnic Biogas Construction - update

Biogas Taita, together with some students of the Polytechnic school, have now completed the construction of the biogas digester. Next to the practical training on site, the students have also received theory classes throughout the construction given by Biogas Taita trainer and supervisor Carly. The students really enjoyed the project and have learned many new skills. Students who actively participated in the project on a daily basis, will receive a certificate of basic biogas masonry training from Biogas Taita. The next step is to build new toilets on top of the biogas digester, which will be done next week!

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December 17. 2015

Project Overview Trailer - German

Biogas als nachhaltige Energie für Kenia. Wälder schwinden, Holz wird rar, Preise steigen. Menschen leiden an Atemwegserkrankungen. Es braucht eine alternative zum Holz. 2010, in Wundanyi, eine Stadt in den Taita Hills, im Südosten Kenias, gründete Quirin Walter ein Projekt mit dem Ziel, Biogas als alternative Energiequelle zu etablieren. Seitdem wurden hunderten von Bauern kleine Biogasanlagen gebaut, einige Handwerker ausgebildet, Finanzierungshilfen erschlossen, die Menschen informiert und unterrichtet. Auch große Biogasanlagen für Schulen und Waisenhäuser wurden konstruiert. Das Projekt expandiert sowohl räumlich als auch an der Anzahl der Handwerker. Das Biogas kommt bei der Bevölkerung sehr gut an. Die Nachfrage nach Biogasanlagen ist groß.

 

Mehr Informationen unter sofisworld.net

Oder auf betterplace.org/de/projects/12546-biogas-taita-project

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December 3. 2015

Biogas for the Youth Polytechnic in Wundanyi

We have started now excavation for the construction of the biogas plant at Mwagafwa Polytechnic in Wundanyi! The biogas plant is donated by Shupa to provide the school with a long-term sustainable solution to lower costs by replacing expensive firewood with biogas for cooking contributing to a more healthy environment and reduction of deforestation in the area. At the same time, the masonry and other interested students are offered a free training course on biogas including construction, in which they will learn important new skills, increasing their future employment opportunities. They will also learn how they can apply and use alternative energy solutions in their daily lives.

After a 2hr theory class given by biogas technician Carly to the students last week, there was an enthusiastic turnout of students participating at the start of their holidays in the project!

The biogas plant will be a showcase for biogas technology for other schools and also the community.

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November 22. 2015

Wundanyi Market: Turning Waste into Energy

'Don't let any waste going to waste'!! ...Is the message of the newly set up Youth Group in Wundanyi, who are working closely together with Fieke from Biogas Taita to reduce waste to landfill, to clean up the market and to provide the local schools with a biogas with valuable organic waste, creating a closed loop organic waste cycle benefiting all people involved, and the broader community plus the environment of course!

Biogas Taita has successfully started a pilot project with the market in Wundanyi Town to turn waste into energy. A lot of organic waste goes to waste and ends up in landfill. This is not only costly for the local County Government as landfill space is scarce and transport is expensive, it is also very harmfull for our environment. Organic waste in landfill starts rotting and releases a gas called methane, which is much more damaging then carbon dioxide and therefor contributes significantly to climate change.
At the same time, we are trying to reduce deforestation by replacing cooking with firewood with the promotion and provision of an alternative clean cooking fuel called biogas. Biogas is produced from any organic waste; human, animal and kitchen/food waste. The gas also improves a healthy cooking environment for people as smoke from cooking fire causes over 4.3 million deaths a year in the world (more then Aids or Malaria). Together with enthusiastic youth from Wundanyi, who have now officially registered themselves as a group called ‘Samawati Dragons’, waste is collected every day. The waste gets collected and taken to a shed next to the market. Here the waste gets sorted and shredded so it can be used for biogas plants. Two schools are receiving the organic shredded waste at a small fee, to compliment their feedstock for the biogas plant and boost gas production for cooking all the meals. This way, the schools do not have use firewood anymore, save a lot of costs, save lunch expenses for the students (firewood contribution) and at the same time contribute to a reduction in deforestation and impact on our environment. This project, which is driven by the Youth Group, and supported by all the market traders and the schools, is a very good example of how we can all take responsibility in the community to reduce our environmental impact, save our forests and therefor save our environment on which we depend for water, health and food production. The project is also a great way of raising awareness about using our resources wisely and not let waste go to waste. This project brings together different stakeholders that can really make a difference!


The initiative has also a had a big impact on how waste is seen by the community, changing the perceptions of many towards the value of waste, and has raised a lot of awareness on alternative fuel options and how we can all turn waste into valuable energy.

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October 23. 2015

Biogas for Orphanage in Mwatate

Biogas Taita has donated a biogas to the  orphanage in Mwatate. Because the orphanage does not own the land, Biogas Taita has opted for a new pre-fabricated model that can be put in the ground, but also been removed again later in case the orphanage has to leave the premises. Biogas Taita will use this opportunity to test the system at the same time as new improvements have been made and to see whether this would be a suitable product for other clients.
The construction of the plant was a lot of fun and was done with two of SIMGAS' engineers and a team of Biogas Taita volunteers from Germany. The kids also tried to help wherever they could....:-).

The system will be mostly fed with organic waste from the kitchen and the nearby market, as well as with waste from the nearby slaughterhouse.
 

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October 23. 2015

Visit Kilifi County Energy Committee

Visit of the members of the Kilifi County Energy Committee who came to listen, learn and see our projects with the aim to introduce small and medium scale biogas in Kilifi County as a more sustainable source of energy for farmers, schools and institutions. Karibuni!

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September 3. 2015

Good Bye Janik

We want to thank our volunteer Janik for his wonderful contribution and enthusiasm for the project. In only three months, Janik has developed a fantastic database, which we have used every day since he left! Furthermore, Janik also went for evaluation of the biogas plants and has done some great work on evaluating the evaluation.

We will miss his stories, good vibes and presence in the office and his great company on our hikes and other weekend explorations. Also, Janik has unfolded himself as an upcoming ‘chapati’ master…though it might still needs a bit of practice and perfection, so we hope to see you back here soon! Karibu sana

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August 23. 2015

Machakos Town Community Led Bio-Waste Facility - Update

Together with the construction team of Umande Trust, Biogas Taita technicians have completed the two biogas digesters for the bio-waste facility in the middle of town. We are now waiting for the contractor to finish the rest of the building on top of the biogas digesters (the facility includes public toilets, community kitchen, office, shops, community hall, water selling point and a garbage sorting area). We have had our first big community meeting recently to share ideas and to start the process of forming a Community Based Organisation to run and maintain the facility. We have a one–year community capacity building program attached to the project in which the community will receive guidance, support and training on how to manage the building and generate income. The facility will create local employment, as well as providing a solution for waste disposal, and will increase awareness about waste management and waste disposal within the community. More similar projects in other parts of Kenya are in the pipeline.

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July 23. 2015

Start of construction of the first Bio-Waste Facility in Machakos Town

Last week we started the construction of our first Public Bio-Waste facility in partnership with Kenya Red Cross Society Machakos and Umande Trust Nairobi! The bio-waste centre in the middle of town includes public toilets, two biogas digesters (one for organic waste, one for human waste), community kitchen, community hall/restaurant, water selling point, information centre, garbage sorting area, recycling storage, community training programs on water and sanitation and health, and a one-year community capacity building program to form and train community groups to run, maintain and own the facility, creating local employment and at the same time as improving waste management, providing a more healthy living environment for the whole community. Exciting!

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June 23. 2015

Biogas Theory Training for Students

Students of Mwagafwa Youth Polytechnic are getting biogas theory classes as part of the biogas construction project at the school. The school has received a biogas digester from its donors from Germany to reduce to the costs of firewood used for cooking and of course, to reduce the impact on the environment by the school and especially, deforestation. The project furthermore serves as a demonstration project for others to come and see and learn, and to raise awareness. Biogas Taita recognises the importance of the youth to be exposed and engaged in alternative energy solutions (especially at a Polytechnic School) for their own future and therefor has developed a short curriculum for the students to learn more about biogas, applied technologies and our environment.

Biogas Taita also sets up a Biogas Club at the schools, to increase engagement and ownership within the school by the students, to provide an extra curricular activity and increase the student's skills and knowledge.
The Biogas Club's activities include (but not limited to) monitoring the gas, feeding the biogas plant, collecting organic waste and teachning others about the plant.

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January 1. 2013

Biogas Taita Film

Biogas als nachhaltige Energie für Kenia.
Wälder schwinden, Holz wird rar, Preise steigen. Menschen leiden an Atemwegserkrankungen. Es braucht eine alternative zum Holz.
2010, in Wundanyi, eine Stadt in den Taita Hills, im Südosten Kenias, gründete Quirin Walter ein Projekt mit dem Ziel, Biogas als alternative Energiequelle zu etablieren. Seitdem wurden hunderten von Bauern kleine Biogasanlagen gebaut, einige Handwerker ausgebildet, Finanzierungshilfen erschlossen, die Menschen informiert und unterrichtet. Auch große Biogasanlagen für Schulen und Waisenhäuser wurden konstruiert. Das Projekt expandiert sowohl räumlich als auch an der Anzahl der Handwerker. Das Biogas kommt bei der Bevölkerung sehr gut an. Die Nachfrage nach Biogasanlagen ist groß.

 

Directed by Felix Walter and narrated by Martin Umbach

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