Biogas as a potential renewable energy source for slum dwellers : a case study of Makindye Division, Kampala
Naika, Richard Basiime
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The research study was carried out to assess the potential of biogas as a renewable energy source for slum communities in the parishes of Kibuye, Nsambya and Katwe, all in Makindye division in Kampala City. It was to assess the social and economic viability of introducing and constructing biogas systems for the residents. It further looked at how such systems could be managed. The slums are mainly occupied by youth below 35 years and these have little or no incomes which limits their ability to use the current energy sources especially hydroelectricity. As an alternative, a considerable proportion of the slum dwellers are using unsustainable energy sources like biomass (wood) for cooking and fuel (paraffin) for lighting. Regarding toilet coverage, 90% are pit latrines and there’s no more space for expansion/construction of new ones in case the current ones get full which situation causes sanitation challenges. The study assesses the potential for production of biogas energy faecal matter from the latrines and organic kitchen waste, thus ultimately improving sanitation in the community. The study analysed the energy demand, the biogas energy yields and proposed the most cost-effective biogas digester design/system, including its management. It was concluded that the proposed project was feasible if properly managed, and that a population of a minimum of 1000 near the system’s location would benefit while the project would further be replicated in other areas using funds recouped from the revenues from this project.