Dairy cows have been contributing waste to the 27m³ biogas chamber at Managhat Primary School for 6 months and a test on June 10th provided the FIRST gas for cooking. Further tests will be conducted, but LTT is proud to announce this first step, making this the first primary school in all Tanzania to have a biogas system enabling it to stop contributing to the growing deforestation problem in the wider community.
With the financial support of dmg::events and other UK donors we were able to realize this ambitious concept and now the school has the beginning of a fully self-sustaining biogas system that provides the kitchen with methane, provides the school’s market garden with bio-slurry to improve soil fertility and increase yields and provides an income from the sale of cow’s milk that exceeds its running costs and can contribute to the school’s asset management programme.
Managhat Primary School, 1 of 32 primary schools in Babati, was struggling to maintain and improve the school’s assets because of low levels of government and community financial support. LTT’s philosophy is that schools can either be victims of their circumstances or participants in their development. We have been working in Babati since 2007, and with this forward thinking school since 2011, helping the community revitalize the school so that their children can get the education they desperately need to escape from poverty. In October 2013 LTT started discussions with the Babati Town Director and the School’s Development Committee on the importance of biogas as an alternative energy source to fuelwood.
In Tanzania deforestation is caused by increased demand for fuelwood and timber due to population growth, town expansion and construction of infrastructure combined with poor farming practices, poor management of existing resources and a lack of available affordable alternative sources of energy. Babati Town alone grew by 59.5% between 2000 and 2012.
Forests are a vital part of the global ecosystem on which humanity depends. They store carbon, provide oxygen, house biodiversity and hold together the soil. Yet globally 1.5 million km² were cleared between 2000-2012, roughly the size of Mongolia, while in Tanzania 1.6m hectares of forest have been destroyed in just 9 years. This unsustainable pace, if left unchecked, will result in environmental degradation resulting in increased poverty and conflict.