In 2013, Village Health Project began planning for the installation of a biodigester system at Lweza Primary school. The biodigester takes organic matter, including human and animal waste, and converts it to usable methane gas. This gas is piped to the stove in the school’s kitchen, where it helps feed the over 700 students that attend Lweza Primary.
This is how the process works. Organic matter and water are added and mixed together in a below ground digester tank. Then, microorganisms break down the mixture and allow the methane to collect at the top of tank. From there, the methane gas is piped out to the kitchen. The remaining semi-solid effluent, called slurry, is pushed into the outlet chamber and eventually into the overflow tank. After 40 days, this slurry can safely be used as a fertilizer.
Installing the biodigester system saves the school money from wood to run the kitchen stoves, thereby freeing up finances for other use. This system also provides students with first-hand knowledge of sustainable energy solutions. Partnering with the Madison based organization, Waste2Energy, construction of the biodigester began in late 2013 with its completion and the initial filling of waste occurring in spring on 2014.