Kenya’s Biogas International’s new project converts invasive water hyacinth plants into cleaner cooking fuel

December 31, 2021

The green energy supplier has collaborated with pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca to provide biogas digesters with 50 homes in Kisumu (360 kilometers from Nairobi). Through the partnership, Biogas International is deterring wood fuel use by giving these digesters for free as part of the plan to replace their jiko (portable stove that uses charcoal). Biogas International chief executive Dominic Kahumbu said that the major benefit of water hyacinth is that it makes excellent biogas. The water hyacinth plant will be used to clean water, produce biogas, papers, and furniture for Kenyans.

The plants are harvested and ground into a machine to create a mixture poured into the biogas digesters. The project aims to reduce firewood burning that adds to greenhouse gas emissions and causes health problems.

The water hyacinth has flooded Lake Victoria and affected its ecosystem by blocking aquatic life from accessing sufficient sunlight. The plants also create favorable conditions for mosquitos around Lake Victoria. These are other reasons why converting these plants into valuable products is necessary.

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