By Orlando Chauke
Giyani – Some Limpopo villagers have turned to biogas to beat the escalating costs of buying electricity.
Ordinary citizens in Muyexe and Gawula villages near Giyani have been using biogas stoves since they were introduced in the Giyani area in 2007.
“I cook food and boil water to bath my family with the help of this biogas stove,” said villager Elias Masuku.
Having hot water in his home is important to Masuku as he needs to be able to bath his wife, who is partially paralysed after a stroke.
He also has a daughter, who is too ill to help with household chores, and a grandchild.
Using biogas makes caring for his family a lot easier.
The biogas stove uses biodegradable material such as animal waste, which is fed into an anaerobic digester – a vessel or tank with bacteria that breaks down the organic material into methane gas.
“This is then used as fuel for cooking, heating and electricity generation. I don’t even have to go anywhere to look for cow dung – I have it here in my kraal,” said Masuku, who has a herd of 24 cattle.
The Muyexe biogas project is sponsored by the ICCO interchurch organisation in the Netherlands.
According Jotte van lerland, who initiated the project in Gawula village near Giyani in 2007, most parts of Limpopo, Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal are suitable for the production of biogas energy because of their hot summers.
“I hope this becomes an on-going activity by which people here would make their living, just as it is popular in some countries in Europe,” said Van lerland. – BuaNews