Livestock industry finds an alternate to charcoal in Somalia

21 Oct 2013

image UNDP supports the conversion of biodegradable livestock waste into biogas, as a source of energy for cooking and electricity


The Hawd Plateau in Somalia is arid, and the sun scorches the earth. Riverbeds are almost always dry, and livestock, the lifeblood of this country, seek cover from the heat under the thin shadows cast by acacia trees.

But this relentless and blinding sun is also a potential source of energy that, if harnessed, could significantly reduce the practice of charcoal cooking and its devastating environmental impact in Somalia.

In the Karkaar region of Putland of Somalia, 3,500 households were provided with energy-efficient stoves and local enterprises have started sprouting around alternative energy industries providing job opportunities to many.

“We used four bags of charcoal per day, and we needed to find a substitute because without charcoal, there would be no food,” said Ali Shaqal, administrator of the Igad Sheikh Technical Veterinary School in Somaliland, where UNDP supports the conversion of biodegradable livestock waste into biogas, as a source of energy for cooking and electricity.

“With the biogas, we will protect the environment by saving trees and produce a fertilizer, which we can  showcase at the farm of the school and to interested farmers”.