The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has an abundance of energy resources capable of supporting various forms of energy, including hydro, wind, solar, biogas, and biofuel. The country alone could produce enough electricity to meet the needs of the entire African continent, but it is now in a situation of energy shortage.
The remains of plantations abandonned years ago, these palm oil trees are now growing in the forest and being used by the local population to produce vegetable oil for cooking. The population relies on this crop of high importance for local food security. In addition, the vegetable oil sold can be used to pay school and medical fees.
Looking closer at the processing of palm oil, it becomes clear that a huge quantity of the effluents produced are carelessly poured away, polluting nearby rivers or streams. The potential benefits of using these wastes in a biogas digester include a cleaner environment, a source of clean and sustainable energy that can decrease local deforestation, and a reduction in smoke emission that makes cooking less toxic. As a result, SNV started the establishment of two biogas digesters on site at Kungu and Bozene in October 2014.
The targeted benefits of this project are multiple: from clean cooking to reducing deforestation habits. The site was chosen because of its closeness to the forest, the availability of cow dung (to be used as activator) and the willingness of locals to partake in the project. Two local association partners of SNV provided spacing, followed the training, and contributed daily to the building work and safety on-site.
The SNV Advisor that supervised the installations and training process, noted that the difficulty is to lower the cost of the installation: "It will be critical to reduce costs if we want to upscale the pilot to the whole area."