“I am going to keep moving forward to support Beninese women and their cooperatives for better working conditions. I’d love to see their income increase with our clean and affordable biodigesters.”
CEO of ‘Biogaz’, Rosath
Greetings everyone! This is Rosath from Benin.
The Republic of Benin is located in West Africa, between Ghana and Nigeria with its population of 12 million. According to Knoema, a data center in New York, the extreme poverty rate for Benin is 19.2%, which indicates more than 23 million people in Benin live with less than 1.9 per day. I could easily find that many women cooperatives in South Benin make a living by processing Cassava into flour. However, they are challenged with taking tons of firewood and tolerating toxic smoke from the firewood.
According to a WHO world report, nearly 38 million people are exposed to improper fuels and its smoke, causing them to die. In order to make 1 kg of Cassava powder, Beninese women cooperatives have to burn more than 2 kg of firewood and get exposed to the smoke for 10 hours.Due to that, many of them suffer from respiratory diseases, blurred vision, and etc. What’s more, deforestation seems to be worsening as more and more woods are cut down for firewood.
I was inspired to create clean energy for the Earth, and established an eco-friendly social enterprise, ‘Biogaz’ in 2019. ‘Biogaz’ installs biodigesters which produce biogas for fuels in households, small factories, etc. The Biodigesters convert livestock waste into renewable energy.
Amongst our customers, women cooperatives are special. ‘Biogaz’ has installed 7 biodigesters in different women cooperatives, starting from one in my region years ago. In order to improve their working conditions of Cassava processing, we install biodigesters free of charge, then they pay us a fixed amount only for gas. We also train them to safely use biogas.
Now, the women cooperatives do not have to burn the smoke-making firewoods, but affordable and clean biogas for Cassava processing.They can work in much safer conditions now! Many of them report that their respiratory diseases got better and better. Moreover, they earn more than before since they do not have to stroll for firewoods, and biogas is 20% cheaper than the woods. It is estimated that ‘Biogaz’ benefits 150 women. I am proud of the story and eager to install even more biodigesters in women cooperatives.
What’s stopping me is that installing a biodigester costs a lot. We received funds for installing, but they are rare and insufficient these days. Despite our effort, many women cooperatives burn firewoods and breathe toxic smoke for Cassava processing. We plan to use The Bridge impact donation for installing a new Biodigester to a woman cooperative. This will benefit ten women with your help.