Biodigesters for Belgut - Meet Vincent, Our Kiva Entrepreneur for Summer
We’ve got a confession to make.
We’ve been hopelessly rubbish at taking the time to write about the wonderful people who we make ‘loans that change lives’ to via Kiva.
Never fear, we certainly haven’t neglected to make the loans themselves!
But we’ve slapped ourselves soundly on the wrist for being so remiss, and have chosen Vincent from Belgut, Kenya as our recipient for this summer quarter.
Like most small-scale farmers in his area, which is mainly known for its tea production, Vincent has relied on buying in firewood to power his farm.
However, there is a serious tree shortage in the country as a whole, as a result of heavy deforestation, largely for fuel.
The situation in the Mau Forest, near to Vincent’s small farm, is particularly dire, with the African Journal of Ecology reporting that over a fourth of its original cover has been lost since the 1980.
As a result, access to affordable energy is harder than ever for the likes of Vincent. And that’s before we even start on the effect logging has on the ecosystem, and its contribution to Kenya’s water crisis.
Pretty bleak stuff.
However, there is a solution. With our help, Vincent hopes to invest in a biodigester from Kiva’s field partner Sistema Biobolsa, a distributor of small-scale, affordable biodigester systems that transform livestock waste into organic fertilizer for crops and biogas for cooking, heat, and electricity.
He is seeking a loan of $1,125 (about £867.97), which represents 62% of the full price of his project, with the remaining part being covered by a cash down-payment he has managed to raise and a government subsidy.
A 20 cubic metre digester will mean Vincent can transform his cows’ manure into renewable energy and organic fertilizer.
The energy generated will mean he and his family will be able to cook without smoke and back-breaking chopping wood.
He will increase his farm’s productivity with the organic fertilizer, as well as giving vitally needed nutrients back to the soil, contributing to the enormous task of reforesting the region.
We are delighted to help Vincent with this extremely deserving project. If you feel similarly inspired, you can make a loan of your own here.
P.S. I’ve just remembered that, strangely enough, this isn’t the first time I’ve written about the amazing power of manure!
About the Author: Alice Perry
Alice is Inkspiller’s project manager. She oversees all that we do, and thinks there is no task that can’t be improved by the making of a bulleted list.