Using Clean Energy to Reduce Women's Work Load

Albert Maniragalula's wife, Sylvare Niyonsaba turns on the switch for the Biogas system to cook the evening meal for her family in the Basecamp zone in Nakivale Refugee Settlement. [Oxfam | 2022]

Albert Maniragalula is a 35year old Burudian National who migrated to Uganda in 2016 after his parents and most of his relatives were killed. ‘’After loosing my parents, I knew I wasn’t going to survive either so I ran away together with my family of eleven members,’’ he said. Albert and his family met several hurdles in the bush and had to walk long distances before crossing the boarder.

Upon their arrival in Uganda, they were registered and taken to settle in Nakivale Refugee Settlement where they started their new life. Albert began doing casual jobs in the settlement in order to sustain his family, he later picked interest in molding energy saving stoves after observing that fuel was a big challenge among the refugees.

"I realized that women and girls were spending a lot of time walking long distances to find firewood but would sometimes return with nothing to use to cook their food. I decided to start molding stoves which I sell to these women at a small fee so that they can save firewood,’’ said Albert.
Albert showcased his stoves during an exhibition in Nakivale refugee Settlement. Here, he was identified by UNHCR staff who also interested him in making and using briquettes in the energy saving stoves. While making briquettes, he also ventured into producing biogas locally using polythene bags, buckets, and human fecal waste. However, this new venture was quite challenging for Albert.

It is at this level that he was indentified by Oxfam during a pilot of the Biogas System facility. Albert under went a training in fixing pipelines for the facility. After training, he took up the role of digging pitholes for the production of the biogas which helped to supplement his income.
Albert quickly learnt how to fix the biogas pipelines and he was provided with a water tank and other equipment that has enabled him to produce biogas safely and increase its production for both cooking and lighting his house.

Albert’s family now uses biogas for both cooking and lighting. The bio gas serves as a cleaner, easier, and faster source of energy. He is also contracted to fix and repair pipelines for bio gas systems around the refugee settlement. The waste matter from the production of biogas is used as manure for Albert’s vegetable garden. From his savings, he was able to buy a cow and also pays school fees for all his dependants.