Under Heifer Project International – Uganda (HPI-U) as the former implementing agency, the Uganda Domestic Biogas Programme built 583 plants in 2010, and 560 by June 2011. A total of 1354 plants are earmarked for construction in 2011. The programme aims at building over 20,000 plants by 2013. Production has witnessed a steady growth and is expected to remain on target due to increasing number of BCEs and interest from credit institutions. A micro credit study has been conducted to form the basis for a partnership between UDBP, and microfinance institutions and savings and credit societies.
UDBP has rolled out to over 28 districts in Uganda – 8, 9, and 11 in Western, Eastern and Central regions respectively. A research and development initiative in Uganda led to the development of the Interlocking Stabilized Soil Blocks (ISSB) that reduces plant installation costs by about 30%. A Lotus 2 stove, which is a locally adopted and fabricated stove, has further brought down costs by 15%, with adoption of Puxin lamps for the CAMARTEC ones leading to biogas lamps cost reduction of 50%. Further research to reduce the costs of installation in order to increase uptake is ongoing.
Gender mainstreaming in the programme has seen about 67% of women take up loans for biogas plants. A gender action plan, too, has been instituted in projects design, programme activities and tools. Uganda also has the highest number of female masons trained, 6% of all masons. Equally, over 266 female users have been trained on biogas use, maintenance and safety. A gender expert works with the programme to engender training and annuals. And as the most successful country in gender mainstreaming, Uganda’s efforts were awarded by ABPP during the International Women day on 8th March, 2011.
Bio-slurry extension is on the increase with around 75% of all plats constructed now connected to a bio-slurry pit, and on average 25% have a compost pit for organic manure.
To reduce logistical challenges associated with subsidy allocation, distribution of all subsidized materials and appliances has been centralized for efficiency. A flat rate subsidy of Ush 650,000 (approximately 200 Euro) of plant costs is allocated.