Cow to stove: Why this biogas farm in Senegal smells like success

By Molly Anders, Naomi Mihara 01 June 2016

In Senegal, a national biogas program is blending public and private financing to launch small-scale biogas facilities with a big impact. Via Devex YouTube channel.

During a visit to a biogas facility in the arid south of Senegal, Devex saw firsthand how biogas production is helping rural Senegalese communities tackle two of the most urgent issues facing West Africans today: energy access and the destructive effects of climate change.

Senegal’s population relies heavily on agriculture, particularly in rural areas where farms employ 75 percent of the workforce, according to the World Bank.

But the drying effects of climate change on once farmable land are decreasing yields, driving the rural population into cities. At the same time, less than 15 percent of rural Senegalese have access to clean, safe energy, and are forced to rely on expensive propane and nonrenewables for light and cooking. This biogas farm in southern Senegal is tackling these two dilemmas — which affect more than 800,000 people in Senegal alone — with the help of the Senegalese government, the European Commission and a few generous cows.

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About the authors

Molly Andersmollyanders_dev

Molly is a global development reporter for Devex. Based in London, she covers U.K. foreign aid and trends in international development. She draws on her experience covering aid legislation and the USAID implementer community in Washington, D.C., as well as her time as a Fulbright Fellow and development practitioner in the Middle East to develop stories with insider analysis.

Mihara naomi
Naomi Mihara

Naomi Mihara is a video journalist for Devex, based in Barcelona. She has a background in journalism and international development, having previously worked as an assistant correspondent for Japan's Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper and as a communications officer for the International Organization for Migration in Southeast Asia. She holds a master's degree in multimedia journalism from Bournemouth University.

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