By Daniel Nyanjagha – MANA
United Purpose (UP) has handed over a biogas digester to Mulanje Prison to be used for power generation and production of manure, helping the prison save K500,000 per month.
The biogas installation is part of a Pro-ACT Resilience Project being implemented by UP with the intention of conserving the environment and increasing food and nutrition security.
The European Union funded Pro-ACT project is also being implemented in Zomba and Nsanje where Save the Children and Concern World Wide respectively are taking leading roles.
Speaking during the handover ceremony on Tuesday, Commissioner responsible for Prison Farms and Industry, Clement Kainja said the digester will improve service delivery at the facility for the benefit of prisoners.
“It will help us improve service delivery in the kitchen,” he said, adding that the cost of running the prison will be reduced as the digester will provide the facility with the needed energy as well as manure to be applied in crop fields.
“When we use climate smart technologies there are a lot of benefits. Our sewer system will not be spilling around as all the waste will be digested and further be turned into bio-fertilizer which will be used in our vegetable garden,” he said.
In her remarks, UP Programmes Manager, Esther Mweso said the prison is already saving about K500, 000 a month which used to be spent on electricity bills and firewood.
Mweso said the biogas digester will assist in protecting the environment through reduced use of firewood for cooking. She said a lot of trees will be spared.
“As an organisation, we believe in conserving the environment. So, with the reduction in the use of firewood there is reduction in cutting down of trees in the area,” she said.
Mweso further said the prison should expect bumper harvest through the use of fertilizer made from human waste through the biogas digester innovation.
District Commissioner for Mulanje, Stallichi Mwambiwa commended UP for its contribution towards the district’s development.
Mwambiwa said the prison will not be affected by blackouts and that they will be able to cook and look after inmates without difficulties.
“I would like to appreciate the work United Purpose is doing in Mulanje. This is a big investment and these are the kind of interventions that we need to promote,” he said.H