Nepalese families endorse benefits of Farnek biogas initiative - Middle East News 247
July 14, 2024

Nepalese families endorse benefits of Farnek biogas initiative

Leading UAE-based smart and green facilities management (FM) company Farnek recently sent top executives from its ESG (Environment, Social & Governance) team to rural Nepal, to revisit families that received Farnek biogas plants.

The plants were installed by Farnek technicians in 2015, to provide a renewable energy solution allowing villagers to produce methane by fermenting animal waste.

Bishnu Tamang who lives in the remote district of Chitwan (meaning heart of the jungle), a six hour car ride from capital Kathmandu, commented that quite apart from the time and effort saved not having to collect 20 kilos of wood a day, he was also saving 1,000 Nepalese Rupees (NPR) ($7.50) per month, because he no longer needed to buy gas from local markets.

Considering farmers in rural Nepal only earn around 21,700 (NPR) per month, that’s a considerable saving. He also added that he recycled the slurry from the cow dung and used it as fertilizer for his corn fields.

Another local resident, Babi Adhikari, mentioned that his family used to spend around 30 minutes, just collecting wood from the jungle, each time they wanted to make a fire. He also added that the health benefits were evident with a smoke-free indoor environment now he was no longer burning wood inside his home.

“When family, friends and neighbours visit us for tea, they want to know how to install their own biogas plant,” he said.

Both villagers agreed that with regular cleaning over the past eight years, maintenance had been minimal, and minor pipeline leaks were easily fixed.

The construction of the plants was simple. A pit was dug close to the house, within which an enclosed dome-shaped digester was built underground out of clay and bricks, which was then covered by soil.

There is an inlet for cow dung and other organic waste and liquids, which during the decaying process, produce methane. An outlet pipe then carries the gas direct to the kitchen for cooking and lighting. Even the slurry of the remaining manure serves as a high-quality fertiliser replacing chemicals and any excess can also be sold on to other farmers.

The dung from two or three cows each day produces enough methane gas for five hours of cooking or lighting. Each biogas plant saves the equivalent of 7.5 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions per year for up to 20 years, thus contributing to a reduction in the impact of fossil fuel usage,

Commenting on why the initiative was so integral to Farnek’s ESG strategy, Markus Oberlin, CEO said, “Approximately 20% of our employees are from Nepal, and many of their families live in isolated rural communities, facing ongoing challenges accessing clean, affordable energy.

“Their families could spend over two hours each day collecting firewood and their homes were often filled with smoke, especially when cooking. So, we decided to launch an initiative that would provide clean, renewable energy, benefiting their families, raising their standard of living and improving their immediate environment.

“Initially we had planned to revisit the families after five years, but due to travel restrictions during the pandemic and the subsequent recovery period, that review had to be postponed.

“However, now we have firsthand documented evidence of just how much this simple idea has improved their lives and contributed towards a cleaner environment.”

Last Updated on 2 months by Middle East News 247

    Middle East News 247

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