Haiti - Environment : Replace the charcoal by methane... - HaitiLibre.com : Haiti news 7/7

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Haiti - Environment : Replace the charcoal by methane...
17/04/2011 14:06:31

Haiti - Environment : Replace the charcoal by methane...
In a country where the Haitian population using almost exclusively the charcoal for cooking, replace this mode of combustion by methane, where massive deforestation due to the use of traditional combustible, reached 98% of the territory is a real challenge.

The idea is not new and has already proven in China and Central America but is just beginning to be developed in Haiti : it is to produce methane gas for cooking, by recycling human excrement. Called "Biodigester", this invention requires little infrastructure : toilets, dry or not, linked to a sealed, brick-lined well connected to a basin. Deprived of air, the bacteria thriving in human excrement eat 85 percent of the refuse while producing methane gas, explained Martin Wartchow who works for the Brazilian NGO Viva Rio "The remaining 15 percent of organic waste is thrown out with the excess water in a green area where they biodegrade [...] Not a single chemical product is used and at the end of the line, the water we collect is completely clean [...] we even raise fish here" specifies the hydrologist.

"The United Nations have funded many studies to find solutions to replace wood coals. But all they had to do was to go to Nicaragua or China" commented with irony Martin Wartchow recalling that "some 70,000 biodigesters have already been built in Central America... and 1,000 times more in China !"

In Haiti, only 70 biodigesters were built by Viva Rio and many projects are underway. But once built, all is not won, as shows the example of camp Santos 17 a suburb of Port-au-Prince where biodigesters were installed in February alongside the new transitional shelters. A disaster designating a methane stove installed in his shelter admits to not fully understand the usefulness of the "thing" even as she said "I cook with charcoal ..."

To make this project a success in Haiti much more than the methane will be necessary, simultaneously it will be necessary to educate the population and to sensitize it with the respect of the environment, so that it abandons the traditional charcoal in favor of a cheap gas and inexhaustible.

PI/ HaitiLibre

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