Taking Care of Waste and the Environment at AAH

We completed installation of an environmentally friendly biogas system at our school in Bumwalukani, courtesy of a generous grant from the Laird Norton Family Foundation secured by AHEAD Energy, and supplemented by a donation from longtime AAH donors and sponsors, Bruce Leighton and Doreen Jones. The old pit latrines were replaced by a bio-latrine and a 16 cubic meter underground bio-digester was constructed. The bio-digester supplies biogas to the kitchen for cooking — saving trees — and produces a sanitary fertilizer that can be applied to farmland.

In addition to the simple task of taking care of human and animal waste, the biogas system provides enormous education opportunities.

Green Heat Uganda, the company that installed the bio-digester, also put together a training session for students. Students learned about fuel and waste, specifically the different types of fuels (firewood, charcoal, kerosene, animal dung, etc.) and their sources (forests, river banks, and retail shops for kerosene, animals and humans).

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Students also learned about the dangers associated with unsustainable use of wood fuel and the health effects of smoky kitchens. The students were told how harmful waste can be, if not managed properly. The shallow latrines and abattoir waste end up in the small river passing their little village, just a few yards away, where locals collect their drinking water! Vianney Tumwesige, Director of Green Heat Uganda, reports that the AAH “children were smart, their questions were intelligent. I learned a lot from these children, I will never forget the experience. The children are going to have a cow-dung collection competition, I cannot wait to learn more about the winning class!”

Thank you to Vianney and AHEAD Energy for this gift, and AAH Uganda Volunteer, Caitlan McDaniel who organized the children.

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