Airtel Kenya has received regional recognition for the CSR Initiative of the year nearly a year after the company commissioned the Immanuel Afrika’s (I-Afrika) biogas project in Kikuyu, Kenya.
The announcement was made at the East African Industry Awards Ceremony that took place yesterday in Nairobi.
In October 2014, the Airtel funded biogas digester went live at Immanuel Afrika (I-Afrika), helping the institution produce enough biogas needed for cooking and boiling water, saving it thousands of shillings that could have been used on Gas and coal that was used to boil water and prepare breakfast for the kids in the morning.
I-Afrika, a street boy rehabilitation project started during the height of Kenya’s post-election violence in early 2008 currently feeds and houses more than 100 former street boys.
Located in the outskirts of Kikuyu Divison, in Lusigetti town, the organization aims to rehabilitate street boys and enroll them in school or vocational education.
Those with families are reconciled and reintegrated, and those without make I-Afrika their permanent home.
Airtel Kenya CEO Adil El Youssefi said the project has made great strides towards improving the lives of children at the Centre and saving the institution thousands of shillings that could have been used on Gas and coal that was used to boil water and prepare breakfast for the kids in the morning.
“We are very pleased to receive this award which highlights one simple innovation that is solving many different problems at I Afrika Centre. We hope the I-Afrika biogas project’s recognition will help spread the word about this technique, so that we can share its benefits with many more communities,” said Adil.
The biogas digester has improved their health by providing a safe, renewable and cheap source of fuel that’s easily available and sustainable than firewood.
The technique uses cattle waste to produce methane gas for lighting and cooking. The dung is collected in a “digester,” where microbes break it down and release methane, which is captured in a cylinder and piped straight into the Centre’s kitchen.
I-Afrika Director Peter Nduati said that before Airtel commissioned the biogas project at the institution, they used to spend Sh8, 000 on 2 tonnes of firewood per month.
Money that would have been used for this expense is now being utilized to cater for other critical needs for the children. Nduati added that they are now glad to be part of environment conversation.
Bio-slurry removed from the digester at the end of the process is being used as natural fertilizer, resulting in better crop harvests at the Institution’s farm where they grow maize, beans, potatoes, kales among other crops which is used to feed the children therefore further reducing the costs of feeding the children.