Ethiopia Biogas Programme makes injera baking easy

Ethiopia Biogas Programme makes injera baking easy

The National Biogas Programme of Ethiopia (NBPE) makes injera baking easy by assisting with the development of biogas-fuelled injera stoves.

Injera, a staple food in Ethiopia, is baked at least twice a week in batches of 25-30 pieces, traditionally using wood fuel, cattle dung or other agricultural waste. Injera baking is the most energy-intensive household activity accounting for over 50% of the household energy consumption. Women are usually the ones responsible for preparing the injera, being exposed to indoor air pollution and facing great risks when out gathering wood.

Until now, the use of biogas for baking injera has been a challenge for the programme despite the many encouraging results of biogas cooking and lighting solutions. As the technical assistance provider of NBPE, together with other partners, we have been supporting GM Plc (founded by Getu Alemayehu from Amhara region, Ethiopia) in researching and designing biogas-fuelled injera baking stoves since 2012. After several attempts, GM Plc solved the limitation of the product in getting uniform heat distribution throughout the 53 cm-wide mitad (a circular baking pan made from clay). The improved product was tested in five households and proved the ability to bake high quality injeras.

“The biogas injera stove is believed to play a significant role in the dissemination of bio-digesters in Ethiopia. Moreover, it will improve women's well-being as they are the main users of the stove.” said Aster Haile, Renewable Energy Advisor, SNV Ethiopia.

Biogas is a priority area for the Ethiopian Government, aiming to reduce carbon emissions and provide access to clean and efficient cooking and lighting solutions in rural areas. Since 2006, SNV has been supporting the Ethiopian Government in disseminating clean and sustainable energy solutions like biogas through a market-based approach with impact at scale.

NBPE is hosted by the Ethiopian Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Electricity. The Government of Ethiopia has been funding the investment subsidy part of NBPE. The rest of the funding comes from the Dutch Directorate General for International Cooperation (DGIS), as part of the Africa Biogas Partnership Programme (ABPP). The Humanist Institute for International Development Cooperation (HIVOS) is the ABPP fund manager and we are the technical assistance provider.

The injera cookstove will be showcased at the Africa Biogas and Clean Cooking Conference in Addis Ababa from 5-7 April 2016.