HESOSA Health for one; Health for all

Local Production of Biogas in the Northwest Region of Cameroon

TITLE: Enhancing Sustainable Energy Practices In some parts of the crisis hit Region in North West Cameroon

  • An overview of the energy landscape in the Northern West Region of Cameroon
  • The importance of sustainable energy sources and the potential of biogas production.
  • The specific goals of the project, such as promoting renewable energy, reducing environmental impact and enhancing local energy self-sufficiency
  • To explore existing studies and initiatives related to biogas production in Cameroon and similar Regions
  • To discuss the environmental and economic benefits of biogas technology.
  • A detailed approach of implementing local biogas production, including site selection, technology assessment, and community involvement,
  • To identify key stake holders and partnerships necessary for successful project execution
  • To describe the biogas production process, highlighting the types of organic waste suitable for digestion and the specific technology to be employed
  • To discuss the potential challenges and proposed solution
  • Discuss strategies of raising awareness and involving the local community in the project.
  • Benefits for the community such as job creation and improved energy access
  • Detail plan of training local members in the operation and maintenance of biogas system
  • Address any skill gaps and empower the community to take ownership of the technology
  • Establish key performance indicators to measure the success of the project
  • Discuss the monitoring framework and period of evaluation to ensure the projects sustainability.
BUDGET: The detailed budget will include costs of equipment, training, community outreach, and ongoing maintenance. TIMELINE: A realistic time line for the various project phases from initiation to full scale implication. EXPECTED OUTCOME: The anticipated benefits includes… reduce greenhouse gas emission, improved waste management, and enhanced energy security. CONCLUSION
  • Significance and potential impact of the project on the population of North West Region especially those affected by the crisis
  • The importance of community involvement and sustainable energy practices.

INTRODUCTION The energy landscape in the North West Region of Cameroon is diverse, with a mix of traditional and modern energy sources. While hydroelectric power contributes significantly, there is also reliance on biomass for cooking and heating. Charcoal and firewood are the most popular source of energy in this part of the World. It is even more challenging in a crisis affected Region to access sufficient energy in managing daily task. The challenges include limited access to electricity in rural areas and the need for sustainable energy solutions to meet growing demand. The community is limited in maintaining consistent productivity, coping with physical and mental strength. The energy constraints can as well contribute to feelings of frustration and isolation. The end view of this project is aimed at promoting renewable energy thus create a life easier for the inhabitants of the crisis hit Region.

Objectives Promoting Renewable energy Promoting renewable energy will involve raising awareness, advocating for policies supporting clean energy and encourage individual actions. Moreover, share information about the benefits, participate in community discussions and support renewable energy initiatives. Also the need to consider reducing personal carbon footprint and investing in renewable energy sources when possible.

“Carbon footprints” Is the total amount of greenhouse gases, most especially carbon dioxide, that are released into the atmosphere directly or indirectly by an individual, organization, or product. The major contributors of carbon footprints include; food, transportation, household energy, production processes and waste generation. Reducing carbon footprints is a key focus in addressing climate change and promoting sustainable practices.

Reducing environment impact This can be done by using energy-efficient appliances minimizing water usage recycling and opting for sustainable products. Additionally, one can consider reducing meat consumption and using public transport or carpooling to decrease one's carbon footprint. To enhance local energy self-sufficiency, we need to consider investing in renewable energy sources such as solar panel or wind turbines to promote energy-efficient practices thereby encourage community initiative, such as local cooperatives. More so, exploring micro grid solutions and supporting decentralized energy generation can contribute to a more resident and sufficient energy ecosystem


  1. Cameroon is rich in varied ways with a vast majority of energy resources. Due to the lack of valorization there's acute energy challenges especially faced by rural population who are dependent on traditional biomass petroleum production for their basic energy needs despite their associated adverse health and environmental impacts. Thus, there is need for a clean energy to fill the gap. “Eramus et al”
Crop residues were found to be the most valuable biogas substrates in the Country. This study also shows a promising future for biogas production in Cameroon given its vast and omnipresent agricultural feedstocks Challenges of biogas production in Cameroon:
  • Lack of appropriate institution polices, regulation, incentives, political will, engagements and appropriate funding mechanisms
  •  The promotion of biogas production in Cameroon, is currently done by local and international NGO.s with limited state engagement Energy is a key drive for poverty reduction, socio-economic and sustainable development. Population and industrial growth are the key drivers of the escalation demand for energy globally. Fossil energy is the primary source of energy consumed worldwide in various sectors and this global dependence on fossils is the primary cause of global warming and climate change due to the emissions of vast quantities of greenhouse gases (GHG) in to the atmosphere
  • Also the current diminishing supplies, price fluctuations of fossils and the need for energy security among Nations gave rise to recent interest in to renewable energies. As a result, the search for clean, alternative, affordable, reliable, eco-friendly and sustainable energy sources nowadays has become a significant concern for households and nations‟ economies worldwide
The primary sources of energy in Cameroon are: hydropower, petroleum, coal. Firewood is the dominant form of traditional energy used for cooking, heating and lighting especially in rural areas and reluctant use in urban cities….” GARILAND Agribusiness Food Processing” Electricity supply in Cameroon is operated through three discontinuous grid (The Southern interconnect grid (SIG), the Northern integrated (NIG) and the Eastern isolated grid). The Country operates on medium and low voltage lines. There are considerable tension drops and energy loses arising from long distances between the energy production and distribution centers. “Eramus et al” Regardless of the fact that some cities are evolving with the creation of slaughterhouses, the waste and by-product gotten from these slaughterhouses are hardly exploited. Despite the Country's high availability in waste, no large scale recycling of it exist and has become a source of pollution and vector of many diseases as it is dumped on open spaces. The contamination of water and soils by oils is becoming one of the most dangerous pollution problems to handle due to oil toxicity to aquatic organisms, degradation of soil quality… Victor Tsapi et al  
  1. Environment and Economic Benefits Most of the research studies are of the view that
  • Biogas technology offers both environmental and economic benefits. Environmentally, it helps reduce greenhouse gas emission by capturing and utilizing methane from organic waste, mitigating climate change. Also, it aids in waste management by converting organic materials into energy, reducing reliance on landfills.
  • Economically, biogas can provide a sustainable source of energy, lowering dependence on fossil fuels. It also generates job opportunities in the biogas production and maintenance sectors. Moreover, the by- products of the process, such as nutrient-rich digestate, can be used as fertilizer, contributing to agricultural productivity
  1. The approach implementation of local biogas production will be inclusive of mostly waste from local population such as their own waste. They include agricultural waste, food waste, waste, or animal manure. This will apply here if there is enough space for biogas system. Otherwise most household will be provided with at least 30litters plastic containers consider filling in suitable waste, and refilling when finished.
The biogas system design will be based on waste volume, feed stock type and energy needs, working with expects will be great for them to design a system that suits specific requirements. The Anaerobic digester is flexible and can be suitable for this purpose. The digester structure is connected to the waste source, making sure safety measures are in place. Considering those with enough space, the Feedstock Collection system which collects and transports organic waste to the biogas facility regularly, will consider collaborating with local farms, restaurants or food processing units for steady supply of waste. Once the method has been set on-site a monitoring system to track gas production, system efficiency, and safety and regular-maintenance is crucial to ensure the optimal functioning of the biogas plant. Train staff or community member involved in the project on the operation and maintenance of the biogas system. Community members will be sensitized on the benefits and best practices for waste separation and disposal.
  1. Involving the local community in the project can foster a sense of ownership, increase awareness about sustainable practices and potentially lead to broader adoption of biogas solution Moreover, the involvement of experts in biogas technology and working closely with local authority will greatly increase success of the project.
TECHNICAL ASPECTS Biogas is a newable energy source produced from the breakdown of organic matter such as agricultural waste, manure, or sewage, in the absence of oxygen. It primarily consists of methane and carbon dioxide and can be used as a clean fuel for cooking, heating and electricity generation. It is safe and less harmful to man and the environment. Local biogas production involves several steps - FEEDSTOCK COLLECTION; Gather organic material like agricultural residues, manures, food waste or sewage sludge - PREPARATION; shred or chop the feedstocks to increase its surface, facilitating microbial activity - Loading the digester; introduce the prepared feedstock into an airtight containers is known as a digester. Common type include continuous stirred –tank reactors (CSTR) or plug –flow digester. - SEALING THE DIGESTER; Ensure an airtight seal on the digester to create anaerobic condition necessary for microbe digestion - ANAEROBIC DIGESTION; Microorganisms break down the organic matter in the absence of oxygen, producing biogas as a byproduct .This process can take a few weeks. - GAS STORAGE; Collect and store the produced biogas, often composed mainly of methane and carbon-dioxide - GAS PURIFICATION ;( Optional) Impurities like hydrogen sulfide and moisture can be removed to purify the biogas. - UTILIZATION; the purified biogas is use for cooking, heating, or electricity generation DIGESTATE HANDLING; the remaining slurry or digestate, a byproduct of digestion, can be used as a nutrient -rich fertilizer. It‟s essential to monitor and maintain optimal condition in the digester for efficient biogas production. Organic wastes suitable for digestion include food scraps, fruit, vegetable peels, coffee grounds, yard waste and manure. Anaerobic digesters are suitable local biogas production. These systems use microorganisms to break down organic matter in the absence of oxygen producing biogas (Methane and carbon dioxide) as a byproduct. Small scale digesters like fixed –dome floating –drum, or plug –flow design are suitable for local biogas generation, particularly in agriculture or community setting ii) Biogas production will face challenges such as feedstock variability, process instability, and the need for efficient waste collection. Additionally, optimizing microbial activity, managing contaminants and ensuring proper system maintenance are crucial for consistent and cost effective biogas generation The proposed solution for the challenges include - Feedstock management; It is advisable to implement a mix of feedstock and pretreatment method to enhance consistency and quality - Process monitory and control : To employ advance monitoring systems to optimize microbial conditions, detect fluctuations and adjust parameters for stability - Waste collection system; Establish efficient waste collection infrastructure to ensure a continuous and reliable supply of feedstock - Microbial optimization; Research and select robust microbial culture to improve digestion efficiency and withstand variation in feed stock composition - Contaminant management; the implementation of purification technology aids to remove impurities and enhance the quality of the produced biogas - System maintenance; regularly maintaining and inspecting equipment to prevent system failures and ensure the longevity of biogas product system Research and innovation It is essential to invest in new technology and methods to address specific challenges in biogas production and attend workshops around the World to learn from experts Public system Supportive policies and inventers to encourage investment in biogas projects, fostering sustainable development in the field COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT
  • Educational workshop: organize workshop to educate the community about biogas production explaining the benefits and the process involved
  • Demonstration projects: to set small-scale biogas unit in the community for hands-on  demonstrations allowing residents to see the technology in action.
  • Collaborate with local leaders: engage community leaders to advocate for biogas, leveraging their influence to encourage participation and spread awareness
  • Informational campaigns: to use flyers, bronchus and posters to share information about biogas production addressing common questions and concerns
  • Online platforms: utilize social media and community forums to share success stories, answer worries, and build a supportive online community
  • Partnership: to collaborate with local organizations, schools, or businesses to amplify the awareness campaign
  • Incentives: We will considers offering incentives or subsidies for those adopting biogas systems making it more attractive for community members
  • Local Events: participate in or host local events, fairs or festivals to showcase biogas technology and engage with a broader audience
  • Training programs: provide training sessions on biogas system installation and maintenance, empowering community members to take an active role
  • Feedback mechanism: establish a feedback system to understand concerns and continuously improve the engagement strategy based on community input.
  • Biogas production will offer several benefits to community including renewable energy generation, waste reduction through organic waste digestion, and lower greenhouse gas emissions compared to traditional energy sources. Additionally, it can contribute to local economic development and create job opportunities in the biogas industry.
CAPACITY BUILDING Below is a detailed plan to train local resident in the operation and maintenance of biogas system
  • Assessment and selection: First identify local residents interested in learning about biogas systems.
  • Check educational background, technical skills and commitment.
  • Educational material development: Create comprehensive training materials explaining the principles, operation, and maintenance of biogas systems.
  • Translate material if necessary considering local languages and literacy levels
  • Training Session: It is wise to conduct a hands on training session in a common space
  • Training sessions conduct hands-on training session in a community space
  • Topics such as biogas production, safety measure, troubleshooting, and routine maintenance will be done.
  • Local experts collaboration: We shall welcome partners with experienced biogas system operators to share practical insights and experiences during training
Allow participants to actively engage in building, operating, and maintaining these systems. Field visits
  • To organize visits to operational biogas installation for real exposure
  • Provide opportunities for trainers to integrate with system owners and ask questions
Safety Protocols To emphasize safety measures during installation, operation and maintenance Skill Assessment
  •  To periodically assess participants understanding and skills through quizzes and practical exercises
  • To tailor additional support for those needing extra guidance Certification
  • Provide certificates upon successful completion of the training program
  • Highlight the acquired skill to enhance employability.
Follow-up support to
  • Establish a support network for graduates to seek assistance and share experience
  • Offer periodic refresher courses to keep skills updated
Community Engagement
  • Engage with the wider community to foster awareness and understanding of biogas benefits.
  • Encourage graduates to share their knowledge with in the community
Feedback mechanism
  • Establish a feedback system for continuous improvement
  • Use feedback to refine training materials and methods.
By following the above detailed plan, one can empower local residents with the knowledge and skills necessary for the successful operation and maintenance of biogas systems in their community. ii) Skill gaps could include limited technical knowledge in designing and maintaining biogas systems, insufficient understanding of waste- to energy principles, lack of awareness regarding the economic and environment benefits of biogas. To empower community members take ownership of the technology is to engage their project training management and financial literacy, and collaboration to affectivity take ownership of biogas initiative. Addressing these gaps can enhance community capacity and promote sustainable biogas production. Hi) MONITORING AND EVALUATION The key indicators for biogas production success include gas yield, methane content, retention time, process stability and overall energy efficiency. Monitoring these factors ensures effective and sustainable biogas generation ii) The monitoring framework is as well crucial for assessing project progress and sustainability. Regular evaluations help identify issues, measure impact, and adjust strategies. This iterative process enhance adaptability and long- term success, ensuring the project remains aligned with its goals and addresses emerging challenges. BUDGET Equipment
  • Biogas digesters
  • Gas storage and distribution systems
  • Feedback processing equipment
  • Monitoring and control systems
Training costs
  • Training programs for residents on biogas system operation
  • Workshops and seminars
  • Training materials and manuals
Community outreach
  • Awareness campaigns
  • Community materials
  • Educational materials
  • Outreach events
  • Routine maintenance of biogas systems
  • Repairs and replacements as needed
  • Training for local technicians on system maintenance
  PICTURES OF EQUIPMENTS Pipefitting TIMELINE The planning/design phase, equipment procurement/installation, training programs, community outreach activities, maintenance, will be organized in a flexible manner to suit the present situation in the North West Region of Cameroon EXPECTED OUTCOME Biogas production offers multiple benefits such as mitigating greenhouse gas emissions by converting organic waste into a renewable energy source. Also, it improves waste management by recycling organic materials and provides a sustainable energy option enhancing energy security by reducing reliance on non-renewable resources CONCLUSION Implementing a biogas project in the North West Region of Cameroon precisely among the internally displaced persons can have significant impacts. It will provide a sustainable energy source, reduce reliance on traditional fuel. It will improve air quality and fosters economic development by creating jobs. Additionally, it will enhance waste management practices contributing to a cleaner environment and better health for the local population. Moreover, community involvement in biogas production will foster ownership, ensures local needs are met, and promotes sustainable development. Thereby enhancing social acceptance and empower communities economically. Sustainable energy practices in biogas production will reduce environmental impact, mitigate climate change and create a long-term, reliable energy source contributing to a cleaner and more resilient future for communities. References
  • Gariland‟ AGRIBUSINESS Food Processing import-export, Training. www.garilandacadeny.org
  • ‟ The future of Biogas production in Cam: Prospects challenges and opportunity‟ Eramus Muh, Fouzitabet and Sofiane Amara 04 June 2020
  • Business in Cameroon, „‟Modern slaughterhouse soon to go operational in Ngaoundere‟‟ 2017 Available; https://www.google.cm/search?q=the +number + of slaughterhouses in Cameroon and safe=active &dcr=0&ei
  • FAO „‟Livestock production in Cameroon-live animals and primary livestock‟‟ 2017[online]. Available; http://www.fao. Org/faostal/en/# data/QA. [Accessed: 22 nov-2017].
  • UNDESA: A survey of international activities in rural energy. https:// sustainable develop-un. Org/doc
  • USAID. Cameroon power Africa factshat http://www.usaid.gov/powerafrica/Cameroon. Available: https://www.usaid.gov/powerafrica/ Cameroon. [Accessed: 22-Sep. 2017].
  • I. L, Moreda, The potential of biogas production in Uruguay,‟‟ Renew, sustain energy Rev., vol. 54.pp. 1580-1591, 2016.

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