Rural Biodigesters Construction And Installation Program

In Uganda many rural poor families lack access to electricity and are forced to cook their meals over open wood fires. About 85% of rural communities still cook using solid fuels (such as wood, crop wastes, charcoal, coal and dung) and kerosene in open fires and inefficient stoves. This releases harmful pollutants into the air which can cause health problems such as stroke, heart disease, and lung cancer.  Along with these health concerns, cooking over wood fires is also harmful to the environment. Sourcing the wood depletes local forest resources, while burning it releases high levels of greenhouse gas emissions. Charcoal and firewood fuel biomass utilization is thought to be the main cause of deforestation in Uganda.

Relying on wood fuel also places an extra burden on women who are typically responsible for gathering and cooking over it. The more time that women spend collecting wood and cooking, the less time they have for education, work, or socializing with their family. 

At the same time, many rural Ugandan families raise livestock and struggle to dispose of their herd’s waste in a hygienic manner. This coupled with poor sanitation leads to diseases, such as diarrhea. Additionally, the cow or pig dung releases harmful methane emissions as it breaks down.

Biogas offers a cheap, renewable and viable solution to the problem of providing energy to rural communities and farmers and also has the merit of using waste that has been traditionally regarded as useless, as the feedstock. In Uganda , biogas technology is not new, but the adoption process is still slow, owing to inadequate funds, poor infrastructure and a general ignorance of this technology among the people who might derive the greatest benefit from it.

This project will be installing Dome Biogas Digesters outside of households in rural Communities in Uganda. The project aims to construct and install dome biogas digesters for individual rural families. These digesters convert the animal waste into biogas – a much cleaner, renewable fuel source. The biogas will then be piped into households where families can use it for cooking and lighting. Because families are able to use the manure produced by their own cows or pigs to feed the digesters, the biogas is a highly affordable energy source. 

Along with biogas, the digesters will produce bio-slurry, which is the remaining treated animal waste. Normally, rural households use the raw manure obtained from their animals as a form of plant fertilizer, but this has a lower organic nitrogen content than the slurry created by the biogas digestion process which is odourless, and makes a better fertilizer. This bio-slurry is rich in nutrients and will be used by farmers to fertilize their fields and increase their crop yields. This will reduce the need for harmful chemical fertilizers. Because the bio-slurry has been hygienically treated, the project also helps prevent diseases caused by poor animal waste management. 

The use of biogas also will cut  down the amount of time that women spend on tasks like collecting wood, cooking over the fires, and cleaning soot off of their pots and pans. The project further promotes gender equality by ensuring women are included in trainings and village meetings.

General objectives

  • The aim of this project is to promote the sustainable production and of renewable energy from the biogas obtained of agricultural residues, cow dung, pigs dung and food and beverage industry waste (agro-food waste) in small-scale concepts for energy self-sufficiency for rural families in Uganda.
  • To install biogas digesters in rural communities which convert animal manure into a renewable source of energy so as to reduce the need to burn wood indoors, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, prevents deforestation, and improves indoor air quality.
  • To sensitize rural families on the need for using alternative sources of energy such as biogas and improved cooking stoves for fuel saving as most of them use wood and charcoal as supplementary fuels. This would reduce global warming through reduced deforestation and bring about environmental sustainability as a whole.
  • To make substantial contributions to Six(6) of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs):
  1. UN Sustainable Development Goal 3 – Zero Hunger: End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture
  2. UN Sustainable Development Goal 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
  3. UN Sustainable Development Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
  4. UN Sustainable Development Goal 7: Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all
  5. UN Sustainable Development Goal 13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
  6. UN Sustainable Development Goal 15: Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reserve land degradation and halt biodiversity loss

What will I be doing?

Participants will work alongside the local engineers to help with the construction of a bio gas digester for a local family. The volunteers will help with the digging of the biogas dome, mixing of cement, sand, concrete and brick laying, piping etc… We are working with villages where we have identified families that are interested and have the means to utilize a bio gas plant efficiently.  Biogas is surprisingly simple and the required quantity of dung and water is mixed in the inlet tank and this mixture in the form of slurry is allowed to be digested inside the digester. The gas produced in the digester is collected in the dome, called the gasholder. The digested slurry flows to the outlet tank from the digester through the manhole. The slurry then flows through an overflow opening to the compost pit where it is collected and composted. The gas is supplied to the point of application through the pipeline.

During the project, participants will learn how rural families are benefitting from this technology by visiting and observing households which have already installed biogas plants. They will also learn first hand through the construction how this basic yet innovative technology works.

 Project Impact

This project is providing biogas plants for families in rural Uganda. Once the family has a functional biodigestor, they will have access to their own gas for cooking, heating and lighting as well as the highly organic matter the digester produces for their farm. All the family has to do is add a mixture of manure and water each day to the digester. The majority of families in this region have cattle or livestock meaning they have the one required input in abundance. The digesters help the families save money, time, and prevents them for consistently having to inhale and work around smoke from fires. It’s a simple, healthy, and cost effective solution.

Justice Tourism Foundation also works with local experts in biogas in Uganda who check in on the family periodically after the installation and provide maintenance and support in case of any breakdowns. In consultation with the local Chief of each village, Justice Tourism Foundation ensures that that every family in the village has a chance to benefit from this project . This model shows how every volunteer has a positive and measurable effect on the communities we work with.

At Justice Tourism Foundation (JTF), we offer very affordable program fees with high-quality service and a level of transparency to all our volunteers and intern. We work hard to make our prices as reasonable as possible, while maintaining our personalized service and standards of excellence. Our fees reflect unmatched support for the volunteer and real service to sustainable projects in the community. The program fee covers the cost of decent home-stay accommodation or in the volunteer’s guest house, meals, orientation and in-country program support during your entire volunteer stay. Our program fees are determined according to the length of stay.

Volunteers are required to pay a deposit of US$150 to secure their placement. Deposit is included as part with the program fee, it is not an additional charge. Full payment of program fees is due on arrival in Uganda.

(Note: JTF reserves the right to change its policies, review cost and inform volunteers accordingly before their arrival. All fees and arrangements on this website remain final.)

Please Note: There are no extra charges such as application or processing fees. Program fee outline below is exactly what you will pay. However, we encourage all our prospective volunteer to setup a fundraising for their project donation using the GoFundMe platform prior to their arrival at the project site in Uganda.  To convert these prices to your local currency please click here. Program fee paid is non-refundable.

Program Fee Description2 Weeks3 Weeks4 Weeks5 Weeks6 Weeks7 Weeks8 Weeks
Program fees for Solo Volunteers or a group less than 10 volunteers$1,100$1,500$1,900$2,300$2,700$3,100$3,500
Program fees for a Group 10 Volunteer’s and above$550$750$950$1150$1350$1550$1750

Weekly Volunteer Program Fees (Program fee is quoted in US Dollars)

What is Included in the Program Fee?What Extra Costs Will I Have?
  • Accommodation in a safe clean environment
  • 3 meals per day (Breakfast, lunch, and dinner)
  • 24/7 in-country support
  • In-country program orientation
  • Pre-departure support from your Program Coordinator
  • Airport pick-up
  • Personalized preparation tools, guides and check lists
  • Certificate of International Volunteering
  • Visa, flights, travel insurance (mandatory), vaccinations, criminal background check, souvenirs, in-country trips or tours.
  • Transfer back to the airport at conclusion of the program
  • Spending money - Volunteers in Uganda generally find US$50 to be sufficient for weekly expenses

Airport Pick-up 

Volunteers will be met by our program coordinator at Entebbe International Airport in Entebbe town upon arrival after which you will be transferred to your project site. Please email your flight details to our program placement coordinator once you have booked your flight.

Ugandan food is tasty, diverse and volunteers can expect to experience flavors and meals during their volunteer experience. You will be provided with 3 meals a day (breakfast, lunch and dinner). Meals will consist of local foods (matooke, posho, cassava, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, yams and rice), served with green/vegetables, beef, chicken, fish, beans or ground-nuts stew. The country’s tropical climate contributes to a healthy choice of fruits which include bananas, watermelon, papayas, mangos, jackfruit, guava, passion-fruits, sugar canes and pineapples. (On season)

Depending upon the particular location and placement, volunteers will either stay with a host family or within our Volunteer Guest House. We offer simple but clean, safe and comfortable living spaces where volunteers can reside in either a single or share a room with fellow volunteer of the same gender.

Note: Our home stay are selected homes that are upgraded to a level where host families can host tourists. Our host families are chosen carefully and are esteemed community members and experienced in hosting international volunteers. They have strong interest in our volunteers’ safety and well-being and demonstrate this with caution and care. The family is trained in visitor handling, nutrition, hygiene and sanitation, and waste disposal. It is expected that community tourism will economically empower families and provide cross-cultural exchange between hosts and visitors.

Thus, staying with a host family offer a strong and supportive system to volunteers during their program and it’s a great way to learn about local people’s culture and customs. Volunteers are recommended to bring their own sleeping bags and other accessories necessary for their personal comfort.

A Day In The Life Of A Volunteer:

TimeActivities
06:00 - 07:30Rise and shine! Volunteers wake up early to start a great day. Take breakfast of cereals, bread, tea or coffee. Refreshed and nourished you are ready for your project work.
08:00Travel to the project! It typically takes 15-30 minutes to reach your volunteer assign
09:00 - 13:00Dig into the project! You do your volunteering job assignment.
13:00 - 14:00Lunch break! You will return to your home-base or host family for a delicious lunch. If the distance is too great, you’ll enjoy the box lunch you brought with you.
14:00 - 16:00Finish up your volunteer project work! There’s always plenty to do
After 16:00End your work day and enjoy your leisure time! You can rest, explore the local area, hang out with other volunteers, study or plan for the next day, whatever you want! This is your time to spend it how you like.
19:00Dinner at your volunteer house! After dinner, you’re free to continue your local explorations before settling down for the night, thinking ahead for another fun, busy day
Saturday & SundayThis is the time to enjoy safaris with our beautiful country, exploring Uganda and its many attractions.

Well, we couldn’t really be Justice Tourism Foundation without extra tourism adventure could we?! As part of your experience, in the majority of our projects, we give you the chance to take part in a range of different adventure activities.

Uganda is a large and extremely diverse country in terms of both culture and nature. For three days you can undertake a safari that ushers you in the vast Bwindi Impenetrable National for Gorilla Trekking or the Murchison Falls National Park for Uganda Wildlife Tour or the famous Queen Elizabeth National Park for Uganda Bird Watching, or the Kibale National Park for Uganda Chimpanzee Trekking. We also offer a range of mountain climbing trips, from Mt Ruwenzori, to Mt Elgon, to Mt Mgahinga!  The adventures will provide you with a break from your project, a chance to see your host country from a different perspective, and time maybe live out a few dreams. Read More

Trip Booking Form

With our local experts, plan your trip to meet what you want, where you want, how you want and at what budget you plan to spend. You will have a well coordinated and organized trip without devoting too much time on planning.

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