Bio-Gas Technology Adoption in Rural Ethiopia: It’s Effect on the Crisis of Deforestation

Lemlem Tajebe


In developing countries, like Ethiopia, high population growth is the root cause of deforestation. The population has been increasing considerably since the turn of the 20th century with an annual growth rate of 2.58%. Either searching for new agricultural land or to promise the firewood demand people vastly encroached into forest land, this creates severe stress on the environment. As various figures explained, about 1.24 million ha of natural high forests cleared between 1990 and 2014. Since, nearly all of the households in rural areas and over 20 percent in urban centers depend on fire-woods, the situation leads to high rate of deforestation. To lessen the crisis of deforestation and to play down the high reliance on it the Ethiopia Alternative Energy Development and Promotion Center (EAEDPC) has launched the Biogas Plants to be reach at least 10,678 households between 2008 and 2014 in the selected Woreda’s of four regions of the country, namely, Oromia, Amhara, Tigray, and SNNPR. However, despite the provision of the technology, a study that strongly concerned and assesses about the contribution of biogas plant for the problem of deforestation in particular and its advantage for sustainable development in general was lacking. To clearly observe the effect of biogas plant for various development activities the conversion factor was employed. The results confirmed that the scattered 10,678 bio-digester plants started to bring tangible benefits. Commencing this movement about 8732 tons of charcoal 27,162 tons of fuel wood and 5336 hectare of forest was saved. Moreover, about 66,463 [t] of biomass and 485 [t] of fossil fuel was substituted with the total implemented plants. This leads to the reduction of 64,684 [t CO2eq] per year. Besides, 43,662kt of organic matter is made available as organic fertilizers. This makes farmers to be more productive within a small parcel of land. Hence, Biogas plant is environmental friendly, beneficial to a society and can augment the income of people; this lead to a sustainable way of development.

Keywords: Deforestation; Biogas technology adoption; Sustainable development


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