by: Ilse Strauss, Bridges for Peace
The United Nations (UN) has contracted israeli start-up HomeBiogas to make the lives of refugees in several camps across Africa a little safer, easier and more hygienic. The renewable energy company produces small-scale, off-grid systems that turn organic waste, such as food scraps, animal manure and even human waste into clean, renewable energy, providing much-needed cooking fuel in conditions where electricity is an unheard-of luxury.
The HomeBiogas system comprises a “digester tank” containing bacteria that breaks down leftovers and toilet waste in a process known as anaerobic digestion. The result? Biogas such as methane that flows via a pipe to a kitchen stove, offering a clean, free way to cook food that requires minimal human intervention and no fossil fuels.
The system helps refugee camps solve more than one problem. According to Israel21c, the large quantities of organic waste produced in such camps pose both hygiene and environmental challenges. Moreover, disposing of the waste in a sustainable manner requires financial resources from a system that has no money to waste. The HomeBiogas not only takes care of the disposal issue without any financial implications, it also does so in a way that produces a renewable energy source.
The biogas also provides a safer way to cook by eliminating the need for cooking fires that have in the past resulted in runaway blazes racing through the close quarters.
The UN contract will see approximately a dozen HomeBiogas systems distributed to refugee camps in a number of African countries in the start of a new relationship with growth potential.
“We are proud that the UN selected HomeBiogas to take on this important project that will have an immense impact on the environment in the refugee camps,” Israel21c quoted HomeBiogas cofounder and CEO Oshik Efrati as saying.
“We are now an official supplier of the UN and believe that this tender is the first of many to come that will seek to treat waste in a sustainable way and improve the lives of hundreds of thousands of people living in refugee camps around the world.”
Photo Credit: ScreenShot/homebiogas.com
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