Villagers switch to biogas fuel

Victor Hlungwani

Victor Hlungwani

TWO Limpopo villages have been tested for the use of biogas in households as an alternative energy source in South Africa.

Gawula and Mahlathi villages outside Giyani will use biogas with the help of Mpfuneto Community Support, in conjunction with the Wild Gooze Dutch Development Organisation of Netherlands.

Biogas is produced from cow dung, which works together with bacteria under minimum temperatures of 40 degrees Celsius.

Biogas is regarded as good for the environment and health and is a reliable source of energy.

Jotte van Ierland said most parts of Limpopo, Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal were suitable to use biogas because of hot weather conditions .

"Previously this type of energy was used only by companies because it is cheaper than electricity.

"We also conducted research in rural areas and have discovered that most rural people are using fire wood for cooking even though some of them have access to electricity," Ierland said.

He said Mpfuneto Community Support received donations from various organisations in Netherlands and R500000 had been raised to construct a biogas digester in Giyani.

Ierland also said they would soon approach the South African government to discuss ways of expanding the project to the rest of the country.

Mavis Chaki, one of the beneficiaries of the project, said she was grateful to the Mpfuneto Community Support for providing biogas for her family.