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Calls for public institutions to invest in biogas digesters

by Staff Reporter
14 Oct 2017 at 08:17hrs | Views
PUBLIC institutions have been urged to invest in biogas digesters to complement other sources of energy and reduce their dependency on electricity, which is in short supply.

Deputy Minister of Energy and Power Development Tsitsi Muzenda told Parliamentarians on Thursday that her ministry was encouraging all institutions to invest in biogas and biomass to be self-sufficient.

"We try by all means to encourage institutions, especially those who can afford to have the biogas or biomass, to be self sufficient in that area. I also want to encourage Members of Parliament to conscientise people in their constituencies about the efficiency of alternative uses of energy.

"However, sometimes there is a capital outlay because when you turn to biogas, you have to make sure that you have sufficient manure and other forms of what is required. What we have seen in the past is that communities might be unable to raise cement and other requirements," said Deputy Minister Muzenda.

She said if communities come together it would be easier to provide sufficient manure.

"We have been trying to educate people along those lines. Other ministries, which include the Ministry of Water and the Ministry of Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development, are also running such projects.

"I was very happy the other day to discover that the women's affairs ministry has what they call masons, the ones who are trained to build those biogas structures. These are mostly women and it becomes easier. This shows that people are appreciating that it's easier to roll out such projects," said Deputy Minister Muzenda.

She added that the rural electrification programme was well on course with the ministry finalising the National Renewable Energy Policy, which outlines some action plans for the development of renewable and clean energy solutions.

"It's also encouraging to note that the Rural Electrification Fund (REF) is in the process of finalising the Rural Energy Master Plan for Zimbabwe, which once finalised will become our national plan for provision of energy to all rural areas in the  country.

"Its importance in supporting Government's strategy for long term energy development for the country can't be over emphasised," said Deputy Minister Muzenda.

REF, she added, has so far made considerable progress in its electrification projects, with 8 928 rural institutions countrywide benefiting.

She, however, bemoaned lack of funding for the projects due to economic and other challenges faced by the Government.

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