Within the overall framework of the Africa Biogas Partnership Programme (ABPP), the Burkina Faso’s Ministry of Animal Resources (MRA), SNV-Netherlands Development Organization and Hivos-Humanist Institute for Cooperation with Developing Countries signed, in April 2009, a tripartite agreement for the implementation of the Programme National de Biodigester du Burkina Faso (PNB-BF). Through this agreement, MRA hosts the program, Hivos and the Burkinabe Government shall finance, while SNV provides technical support.
However, effective implementation of the PNB-BF only began in earnest in mid-2010, after a gestation period that lasted almost 18 months.
Indeed, the long period of preparation was punctuated with the following steps:
First, November 2009, transfer of technology in the bio-digester program facilitated by Rwanda and training of twenty masons,
Second, February 2010, forming part of the program team to run and disseminate biogas technology, and
Lastly, during the fourth quarter of 2010, initial acquisition of partners for implementation of the programme.
This long phase of setting up systems and procedures for disseminating biogas, a new product in the market, on a large scale had several challenges that inhibited the programme from meeting its targets.
It should be recalled that all previous attempts, especially those of the 1980s, that sought to introduce the technology in Burkina never went beyond the experimental phase. Lack of knowledge and poor implementation remained key causes for low uptake. Not many people had the information and knowledge about biogas technology. Therefore, domestic production, even the most optimistic, never exceeded a few units per year.
And after nearly two decades, the total number of units built before the start of the PNB-BF was less than 150, with nearly 95% of them no longer in working condition.
Learning from past shortcomings, the approach taken by the PNB-BF is to incorporate a consistent and balanced technical, commercial and socio-economic approach. The final objective is to stimulate the emergence and development of a market sector of domestic biogas capable of economic sustenance and able to meet expectations of the generated demand.
Gradually, the PNB-BF is engaging in capacity building and aggressive marketing of biogas to ensure the programme meets its set projections for the year 2011, 600 plants. Already, the programme is constructing about 30-35 plants per month. The programme has also trained over 200 masons, and is collaborating with ten implementation partners spread across eight regions in the country.