An Indian woman bent under the sun, searching for firewood in a groundnut field with a child strapped on her back - this is a daily image in Anantapur District, India. These people depend on firewood to cook and agriculture as their labour. But the drought, the increasing crop failures and livestock deaths imposing high economic losses and undermine food security. People here are most vulnerable to climate change and they will get far more severe as global warming continues.
Promising new opportunities for mitigating climate change and creating large new markets for agriculture have emerged through the production of biogas-units. The use of biogas for cooking has a lot of advantages. For the women who prepare a meal two times per day it is a blessing. Traditional cooking with wood is cheap but it causes a lot of smoke and in the long term also health problems. Biogas must replace the wood. This will save time and money.
This collection of pictures was taken by Jan Beyne, one of the volunteers in SEDS. In the last six months he did research on the social economic impact of biogas on smallholders. 170 people (85 biogas users and 85 non-biogas users) were interviewed with questions about their social and economical life in relation to biogas. The statistical analysis will be published later on. But from the first numbers and graphs, we can see there are some significant social, economic and environmental benefits:
Reduces drudgery to women who spend long hours and travel long distances in search of fuel wood
Increases women and children's overall health situation by reducing smoke in kitchen, thus eliminating health hazards from indoor air pollution
Improves education of children as women have more time and resources to nurture their children and send them to school
Higher productivity of workers as they have adequate cooking fuel supply
Will provide employment to local communities through construction and maintenance of biogas units
The project will reduce cooking time, thus providing women to take up other activities
Improves the local environment by reducing uncontrolled deforestation in the project area
Improves local surroundings through better waste management
Will lead to soil improvement by providing high quality manure
Reduces deforestation, preservation of pasture land,
Avoided global and local environmental pollution and environmental degradation by switching from non-renewable biomass to renewable energy, leading to reduction of GHG emissions
|Happy family with a new biogas-unit.|
|Woman and child cooking on biogas-stove|