Agnes, a mother of five, is employed at a tea factory as a casual laborer. She lives in her ancestral home, where she inherited a piece of land from her parents. Three of her children have cleared school and help her in tilling the land and looking after the livestock. The other two are in high school and only help with the house chores in the evening.
Agnes and her children have been relying on the income from the farm proceeds and sales of chicken eggs, as well as sales of milk from their ten cows. This income caters to their family needs, as well as payment of school fees.
To assist Agnes to cut down some of her expenses and save some money, VEP introduced her to the biogas project, which would provide her with a cleaner, more affordable source of fuel for cooking and lighting. She benefited from a loan that enabled her buy the materials for the biodigester construction and also got excellent expertise from the biogas engineers.
She is currently enjoying convenient cooking in the comfort of her sitting room, and she no longer needs to use the outer kitchen that was previously used with the firewood jiko (stove). Her house is smoke and soot-free, her cooking pots clean, and her health better, as she no longer inhales smoke.
She has also been trained on how to increase food production using organic fertilizer from the bio-slurry. This means that she will also save money previously used for buying chemical fertilizers, her food production will increase, and if she sells some of it, it will be an added income to her family. Biogas will be a source of transformation and empowerment to Agnes and her family.
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About Visionary Empowerment Programme
Visionary Empowerment Programme (VEP) is a nonprofit organization that empowers people to build their own enterprises through microfinance, training and other development services. In addition to providing loans to groups of borrowers, it works with established organizations to encourage installation of biogas digesters, solar energy products, clean cooking stoves and other technologies that reduce costs, poverty and greenhouse gas emissions.