June 20, 2024

This morning the Minister of Minerals and Energy, Honorable Lefoko Maxwell Moagi implored Batswana to adopt the biogas technology. Hon. Moagi said this during his keynote address at the launch of the National Biogas Programme in Mookane village, Mahalapye district. He highlighted that the benefits of using biogas are extensive. The biogas technology value chain has great potential  in the creation of employment, provision of energy, and efficient agro-waste management”; he further elaborated.

He further explained that the journey towards the launch of the biogas programme began in November 2019 when the Government of Botswana through the Ministry of Minerals and Energy joined hands with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to develop a comprehensive biogas programme for Botswana. 

According to Moagi, the biogas initiative forms an integral part of his Ministry’s mandate to promote the production and utilization of biogas from agro-waste which contributes significantly to reducing Botswana’s carbon footprint in the energy sector.

During the financial year 2022/23, the Ministry of Minerals and Energy decided to roll out the Biogas Project to the rest of the country over a period of four (4) years. Moagi elaborated, “In the first year, which commenced in 2023/24, the focus is on constructing 120 demonstration biogas digesters in the northern part of Botswana; Training of 200 biogas masons by leveraging on the expertise of biogas masons trained in the first phase.

During Phase (1) one of the Biogas Project, between January 2017 - March 2022, significant progress was made in the South Eastern part of Botswana. A total of 231 biogas digesters were constructed and 77 masons were trained in construction and maintenance of Biogas digesters.

Moagi explained that by the end of the project cycle, the target is to have constructed a total of 750 small-scale digesters countrywide. He said 630 digesters from this total, will be supported by Government through a subsidy. The subsidy will cover cost of biogas appliances and labour for construction.

On his part, the UNDP Resident Representative, DR Balazs Horvath commended the government of Botswana for taking bold steps towards addressing energy security in the country. He remarked that the “Government of Botswana, in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme, reaffirmed commitments to advancing biogas as a cleaner energy alternative which has potential to address the country’s energy needs while promoting environmental sustainability”. 

The Biogas initiative has great potential to build capacity in both the private and public sectors, allowing Batswana to determine the most suitable technologies for the country’s development”; Balazs.

One of the Biogas programme beneficiaries, Mr. Gofaone Monageng remarked that the project has improved his life as he no longer needs to go out to collect firewood from long distances to prepare meals for his family. He said his biogas digester offers him enough gas for cooking and lighting. 

Another speaker, Ms. Neo Chepete (45), a mason from Molepolole gave testimony of how she has benefited from building biogas digesters in the country. She said she has been able to raise funds to startup a taxi business to establish an additional income stream for her family, hence building resilience for future shocks. 

UNDP, is centered around supporting countries to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals through integrated solutions. In particular, and for the BIOGAS project UNDP supports the attainment of SDG 7 which speaks of affording clean and renewable energy to all, and SDG 13 which highlights the need to take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.