Biogas intervention has touched many lives. At times it is hard to explain, more so, by a third party. It is in this perspective that the experience below was recorded verbatim from a client, a lady, whose life was never the same after her encounter with the biogas project. “Getting it from the horse’s mouth”, so they say!
Who is this Lady?
“I am called KANKO Edoua aged 24. I am a lyèlé (Gourounsi) woman from Godyr village. My husband is a farmer. I have three children, two of whom are in school.”
The Strength of a Woman
“Every day, I take care of the household: cooking, bathing the children, looking for firewood and going to the market. Here in the village, most of the women, bread pigs. Cows are collective goods that must not be owned by an individual but by the family. My husband’s family also has cattle. We farm to feed ourselves”.
Firewood: A Rare Commodity
“In our community it has become more and more difficult to find firewood. In spite of that, it still remains a vital commodity because we use it for cooking and preparing dolo (millet beer). Every day, many travel at least 15km, by foot, to collect firewood. For light petrol lamp is used. This year we don’t have much rain. That makes lives even more complicated.”
The Great Encounter!
“This year, during a meeting with the officials of the Women Associations Union in my village, we heard of biogas. A plant that can provide us light besides our petrol lamps, gas to cook our meals instead of wood and manure free of charge; and that works only thanks to the dung of cow/pig. After this meeting my husband and I discussed on acquiring this technology. My husband then contacted the implementing partner of the program at Reo, UGF/CDN for further information. As UGF/CDN is an organization that help women in being independent and as I am a member, my husband was already confident.”
“We have signed an agreement with PNB-BF that is the implementing partner and things went fast. The program supervisor and the mason came to our house to have a conversation with us and build the plant. As we did not have money to buy the cement and the other materials, the UGF/CDN gave us a loan without interest of 200 000 FCFA to pay for the necessary things. Building took two weeks and the first supply took ten days because we did not have the necessary quantity of dung and the people to help the mason. Two weeks later we were having gas!!!”
“The mason came back to fix the stove and the lamp under the supervisor’s control. At this occasion they invited my husband and I to a users training session in Reo. At this session we received the guidelines to follow for a good use of the plant.”
KANKO Edoua: The Pride of Godyr
“Today, we are the only ones in the village to have this technology. We have a lamp for light and gas to cook. I now have time to monitor my children school and to take some lessons initiated by the UG/CDN. Every evening the other children of the village come to our light to study with our children. Some women from our family house use my stove. I am the village star thanks to the biogas plant.”
“With the saving we make on the petrol, wood and battery expenses, I set up a small business to pay back the loan and better take care of my children. We have not encountered a problem since (September 2011) we are using the plant.”
Extending a Hand
“I have registered five women that wish to benefit from the technology to the Implementing Partner (IP). I hope to register more because I became the relevant person of the village to animate the club of biogas users and I am part of the sales force. For registering five future beneficiaries, the IP gave me an incentive of sixty thousand (60 000) CFA franc. That allowed me pay part of my loan.”
“Now I go round the village to share my experience. I have even been invited by the community council of Godyr’s town hall to share this experience with the council members and the village development committees.”
“For me the biogas plant is a means of emancipation and independence for the woman!”