School eyes students’ waste to fuel bio-digester, save costs

A Vihiga school is building a bio-digester that should see expenditure on firewood reduced by half once it becomes operational at the end of the year.

Kivagala Secondary School principal Gideon Mugheri on Thursday said the bio-digester, which will be connected to the toilet blocks, will enable the school efficiently manage its human waste and produce cooking gas.

“The gas will help us in the cooking of students’ meals, save our trees and lower expenses for the school in the process,” said Mr Mugheri.

Pointing out that huge firewood costs had been draining the school’s meagre finances, Mr Muguheri said the school would also earn cash from the ambitious project.

“We shall also compress the excess gas and sell it to the local community for use,” he said.

Kivagala is also working on other income-generating projects that have attracted the attention of neighbouring schools. These include drilling of a borehole, setting up of a green house and construction of six fishponds.

The projects, which the school described as “flagship”, will cost Sh7.8 million and are being funded by a Nairobi donor.

“The ponds will provide fish, which will give proteins that are good for growing young brains. The tomatoes and other crops to be grown in the green house will supplement the fish,” Mr Muguheri said.

He added that the surplus fish and water from the borehole would be sold to the local community and the proceeds used to start a fund to help pay school fees for needy students.

Several schools from across the county and beyond have already visited Kivagala to learn about the yet-to-start projects, the principal revealed.