The islands of Tuvalu are now able to use sustainable energy to cook their food after the installation of forty (40) biogas digesters in Niulakita, Nukulaelae, Nukufetau, Vaitupu, Nui, Niutao and Funafuti.
The biogas digesters were introduced on Friday 26th April 2019 by Prime Minister Enele Sopoaga, along with the Minister of Public Utilities and Infrastructure, R. Hon Enele Sosene Sopoaga, at the Government Building in Tuvalu during the High Level Political Dialogue between the Government of Tuvalu and the European Union.
“We have been blessed, Tuvalu in particular, with the benefits of this project called Adaptation to Climate Change and Sustainable Energy Community-based Schemes – Tuvalu. A lot of work still needs to be done, and perhaps assistance for more penetration of the project to other households in Tuvalu. This project, in particular, is going to help us reach our target of 100% energy from renewable sources by 2025,” said Hon Sopoaga.
This Project is funded by the European Union funded Adapting to Climate Change and Sustainable Energy Component, which is administered by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, in close collaboration with the regional SPC-GIZ programme “Coping with Climate Change in the Pacific Island Region” (CCCPIR).
The Acting Head of Delegation of the Delegation of the European Union for the Pacific, Mr Corrado Pampaloni praised the strong cooperation that the project represented, “It is always a pleasure EU funded projects working towards the development priorities of the many governments in the Pacific. Here, in Tuvalu, we have the excellent coordination between ACSE-GIZ and ACSE-PacTVET in developing biogas technician courses to help support the broader adoption and maintenance of biogas systems in Tuvalu and other Pacific countries.”
Sustainable cooking energy on the outer islands of Tuvalu relies heavily on shipping schedule. With the biogas project, cooking gas will be readily available by utilising pig manure, which has been one of the major causes of pollution in Tuvalu.
SPC’s Akuila Tawake highlighted the important contribution biogas can make on small islands saying, “As a group of atoll islands, Tuvalu faces a lot of water problems and they rely heavily on rain water. With this project, water tanks has been installed to store rainwater, which can be used to feed the digester for gas production. Additionally, fresh vegetables are hard to get due to nutrient-poor soil and digestate produced after gas has been extracted will help improve soil condition for growing home garden for families.”
Late last year, SPC provided a training on installation, operation and maintenance of the biogas digester to 40 participants (one from each beneficiary household), addressing the knowledge gap, which exists in biogas technologies.
During the launch, participants also received a copy of biogas toolkit – e-copies can be downloaded from this link.
Amelia Siga, EU PacTVET Team Leader, Geoscience, Energy and Maritime Division, SPC, amelias spc.int or +679 3379250
Atishma Lal, Project Information Assistant, Geoscience, Energy and Maritime Division, SPC, atishmal spc.int or +679 3379402
The Pacific Community (SPC) is the principal scientific and technical organisation in the Pacific region, proudly supporting development since 1947.