18 May 2015, Abuja – The World Bank, in collaboration with the West Africa Agricultural Productivity Programme and the University of Abuja, has inaugurated a biogas facility in Nigeria that would help generate electricity for residents in rural communities.
Speaking at the official inauguration of the facility, the Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof. Micheal Adikwu, stated that facility would not only help residents generate electricity but would also serve as a power source for their stoves.
“The biogas facility generates gas which could be used to power stoves and light so that they (residents) can have electricity,” he said.
Explaining how the facility works, the professor said the technology was based on the use of waste that could be converted to energy.
He said, “If well constructed, the biogas facility can last for a 100 years as long as the amount of dung and water level in it is appropriate. This will help residents to keep their environment clean because all residues that would have been regarded as waste can now be used to generate electricity and gas for cooking.
“Also, after the gas has been fully digested, the residue can be used as fertilizer. Residents can remove the dung from time to time and use it as fertilizer. With this, the villagers can reduce deforestation, the environment is kept clean and they can also get fertilizer.”
On why the community was chosen, Adikwu said, “Kilankwa is community in Kwali Local Government Area that has been without any form of electricity (from the country’s power grid) despite the fact that they have senior and junior secondary schools as well as a primary health care centre.
“They only generate electricity using generators. That is why the village is a good project site to develop this prototype. The technology is already being used in China and has lasted for a long time. So this is why it is referred to as rural biogas, because that is where you get enough dung.”
The vice chancellor stated that about 10 persons have been trained in the community on how to construct the facility, adding that the technology was cost effective.
He said, “About 10 people in the village were trained so that if they wish they can build for their own houses. And it does not occupy much space. It could be erected behind the house and you pipe the gas to the kitchen into the stove and to the lamp.
“The bigger it is, the more lamp units you can connect. The technology is very cost effective. The rigorous aspect of it is the construction of the dung and the excavation.”
The Deputy Vice Chancellor, Academic, University of Abuja, Prof. Gabriel Kolawole, noted that the importance of the rural biogas facility was to demonstrate to the community an alternative and cheap source of energy for cooking and lighting up in rural communities.
He stated that the technology would create employment opportunities, reduce deforestation, protect the environment, provide cheap source of fertilizer and control plant diseases.