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African prison runs on biogas

In Rwanda, southern Africa, a biogas plant has been constructed for Nsinda Central Prison in Rwamagana District, Eastern Province.

The project is supported by the Ministry of Environment and Forestry and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), which came about in an attempt to reduce the amount of firewood being consumed at the prison.

The commissioner general of prisons Mary Gahonzire commented: ‘We used to spent over RWF 3 million (€4,050) per month on firewood. With the use of biogas this expenditure is expected to reduce by 70%.’ The biogas plant at the prison now recycles human and animal waste for the production of energy.

Currently biogas plants have been installed in 10 of the 14 prisons throughout Rwanda, reducing the cost of firewood by as much as 50%. However the Nsinda Central Prison biogas project has been the most successful to date.