Waste to Clean Energy…Closing the Loop

Lead Organization: Cordaid
Partners: Muni University, Wageningen University and Research, SEMiLLA Sanitation, SkillEd & Caritas Arua Diocese
Duration: January 1, 2021 – December 31, 2021
Goal: The project is committed to strengthen the ability of the communities to adapt to climate change by extending the use of sustainable energy in form of biogas (for cooking and lighting) made from a biodigester that uses human faecal matter, strengthen regreening by supporting tree planting using organic compost from the digester and creating employment opportunities along the path.
Highlight: The project is working to create employment opportunities for the local communities through; providing labour for operating and maintaining the treatment plant, sell of biogas and compost, sale of tree seedlings trees and thus increase purchasing power resulting from the availability of employment opportunities

The project addresses the challenge by;

  • Introducing easily accessible and affordable biogas to reduce distances between  refugees and host communities (especially women and girls), walk to source for firewood and also reduce conflicts.
  • Decreasing the groundwater pollution caused by pit latrines
  • Reducing health risks associated with air pollution caused by cooking using firewood
  • Decreasing environmental degradation and CO2 in the atmosphere caused by deforestation for firewood and timber.


Sustainability Strategy:

  1. The project enables a self-sustaining model providing renewable energy in the community using maintenance manpower available in the settlement.
  2. It promotes viable businesses such as compost, biogas, tree seedlings, crop growing and sale and faecal matter collection to make the project sustainable.
  3. Businesses remain and evolve further starting with 83 entrepreneurs skilled with knowledge in enterprise development, entrepreneurship and marketing.
  4. Operation and maintenance of the system is completely taken over by trained local personnel.
  5. A percentage of proceeds from sales of products is used to cover costs of operation and maintenance; local population reaps the benefits of the innovation.
  6. Implementation will create employment opportunities as operation and maintenance, cleaning and transportation will be required.


Update: The circular Camps consortium is implementing the Waste to clean energy project in Imvepi Refugee settlement in Terego District. In March 2021, the Circular Refugee Camps Consortium organised a kick-off and inception in Imvepi (photo’s 2 & 3). A project site in the Imvepi refugee settlement was identified to establish the biodigester (photo 4: village 5, zone 3). The biodigester has been built by SEMiLLA in the Netherlands and will be shipped to Uganda for set-up in late November 2021. In addition, 212 acres of land were promised for regreening working with the landlords in the project area. Thereafter, members of the consortium held a planning meeting during which they agreed on six modules and organisations responsible for developing the materials for on/offline learning (photo 5). Moreover, continuous community engagement and awareness sessions commenced in April 2021. The focus laid on creating awareness on the benefits of using biogas for cooking and lighting and the dangers of using wood fuel for cooking. Unfortunately, these sessions were interrupted for three months because of the lockdown to curb the spread of COVID-19 within the refugee settlement and amongst the implementing team.



Contact lead organization Cordaid
Lilian Asabe
E: Lilian.Asaba@cordaid.org