Problem: The economic implications of poverty and fuel prices come with social, environmental and health concerns too. According to the World Health Organisation, more than 3 billion people worldwide get their energy from solid fuels, including coal and biomass (wood, dung, agricultural residues). Burning solid fuels on open fires or traditional stoves leads to dangerous indoor air pollution – this kind of smoke contains about 20 times more pollutants than accepted guideline values.
Solution: The Keekonyoike Slaughterhouse biogas project uses the most abundant available natural resource to generate energy for those at the bottom of the economic pyramid.
Goals and Objectives: The solution aims to recycle blood and animal waste into cheap energy, to be sold as safe packaged biogas to low-income households that can’t afford electricity or liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).
Implementation: Keekonyokie has always been a local solution. It was founded in 1981 by a group of Maasai pastoralists in Kiserian on the outskirts of Nairobi. There was no funding or external support. It was an informal, community-owned and managed livestock production slaughterhouse that served the community financially and socially. In 1992 Keekonyokie was registered as a company and in 2005, when new regulations barred the discharge of slaughterhouse waste into rivers, they started work on a biogas plant with proof of concept support from Kenya’s Climate Innovation Center (CIC) and GiZ.
In 2011, the company presented a prototype on the packaging of biogas, which it intends to sell to local residents in addition to the already existing the sale of biogas to larger local institutions and its use as an energy source of the slaughterhouse. As FAO evaluated: “Unlike in the classic PES scheme where the initiative comes mostly from a mediating institution that brings potential buyers and sellers together to negotiate a voluntary contract, ensures compliance and funds the initial stage of the project, the initiative this case came from the local people themselves and it was not linked to a particular payment but to the need to comply with environmental regulation.”
All the liquid slaughterhouse waste goes into a processing plant where the biogas is produced and taken to be packaged. Initially the fuel has been stored in used tyres to reduce environmental impact further.
Currently, the energy produced is used internally. But a totally new and unique commercially packaged biogas product has been developed too. The innovation is a 6kg biogas packaging cylinder developed through work with the government agency Kenya Institute of Research and Development (KIRDI). Safety standards and tests required by government are all in place and Keekonyokie is now ready to roll out its plan of packaging 100 cylinders a day, to be sold in and around town and then in surrounding areas.
Achievements: In addition to being a profitable enterprise, Keekonyokie delivers both social and environmental gains. It employs about 172 people directly and 200 more indirectly.
The plant is currently operating at 20% efficiency, with 80% of total potential still unexploited. So, ultimately, it could reach 250 000 consumers, although the aim for now is to supply 20 000 households in five years. The 6kg biogas cylinder will also sell for half the price of a similar amount of LPG. So it will slash consumers’ spend on charcoal and firewood by 50% and save on the time taken to collect these fuels.
Keekonyokie Butchers Limited
PO BOX 1/206 – Kiserian
Phone number: +254724536721