SOCIAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL BENEFITS OF BIOGAS PLANTS IN PAKISTAN:
Biogas, being a clean source of domestic energy is socially acceptable to the communities as it will replace the dirty and socially non-acceptable sources of domestic energy like cow dung cakes, fuel-wood that emits smokes and cause indoor pollution; the root cause of tuberculoses in Pakistan.
Women folk are used to making cow dung cakes manually by hand almost every day, which may create health and hygiene problems as they make bread and cook food using semi clean hands. In addition women collect fuel wood from far away places for cooking and thus are exposed to additional physical labour every day. Provision of biogas right inside their kitchen will greatly solve their problems and relieve them from such agonies. Thus women folk can concentrate on other household activities and their health and indoor environment will greatly improve.
Health bill of the poor rural communities will drastically be reduced as chances of diseases and regular visit to clinic will greatly be reduced.
As livelihoods of livestock holding communities in rural Pakistan depend on dairy and poultry products and therefore improvement in this area is always welcomed and accepted by the communities.
As the biogas plants will be established in the livestock owning households lands or courtyard, it will have full ownership and support from them and there will be no need to purchase land for this purpose, nor is there any danger of resettling the local communities.
As Biogas plant will solve most the social problems it is highly acceptable by the rural communities.
Biogas is environmentally clean and hygienic for the households and has got positive impacts on the human environment.
Rural communities use fuel-wood and cow dung for cooking and heating, which is not only costly but also emits smokes that affects their health and pollute indoor environment. Provision of biogas will decrease the dependence of rural households on forests and therefore deforestation will greatly be reduced especially in the critical upland watersheds of great ecological significance.
Traditionally, cow dung is mostly dumped in the courtyard of rural households, which harbours insects, flies and emit foul smell that affects the health of the residents.
Dumping of cow dung in open results in emission of green house gases that leads to global warming, biogas offers collection of methane from the cow dung in biogas digester and its use for cooking.
Cow dung, a rich source of organic fertilizer lying in open may turn into cakes and is not decomposed properly. Using cow dung in biogas digester will give out decomposed organic manure that can be used in agriculture as a rich source of organic fertilizer and thus help in enforcing the Convention on the Persistent Organic Pollutants that Pakistan has already ratified.
Biogas plant solve most of the environmental problems, as fresh cow dung is dumped in the digester, which allows collection of methane and other gases and the cow dung is decomposed and its slurry automatically oozes out without any smell or odor.
Production of biogas on regular basis can ensure provision of decentralized renewable energy on regular and sustainable basis to the rural community.
Biogas plant ensures safe handling of the farmyard manure without any problems of health and hygiene in the vicinity of the household.
Dumping cow dung in open leads to the emission of green house gases, which is a major source of global warming and climate change. Using cow dung in biogas digester can greatly control the emission of green house gases and therefore protect the biosphere from the bad affects of global warming. Thus biogas technology can earn carbon credits if properly claimed under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) of the Kyoto Protocol. The proposed project will help in combating climate change directly and thus facilitate the Non-Annexed-I Party to the Climate Change and Kyoto Protocol to enforce the provision of these Multilateral Environment Agreements in Pakistan.
The use of decomposed organic manure produced in the biogas digester (which in itself is a biological process) in agriculture, horticulture, and rangelands will support biological processes and help in the protection and revival of biological diversity in almost all the ecological zones that fall in the project area.