Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Merry Christmas to Us and Filemon!

This handsome young man is Filemon, a dairy farmer in Tanzania, the recipient of our KIVA loan this month. He is always looking for ways to increase the value of his products and reduce his operational costs.

For example his cows produce enough milk for starting a small yogurt and cheese business, and he would like to expand into yogurt and cheese production but he can't consider these options due to the high cost of energy.

The TAHUDE Foundation biodigester initiative helps farmers like Filemon to build and install a biodigester which generates clean-burning, renewable biogas from the manure their cows produce. A biodigester would provide the energy Filemon needs to allow him to add cheese and yogurt production to his dairy business and increase his income. Moreover, he could use the fertilizer generated by the system, allowing him to save on fertilizer costs.

The potential benefits offered by a biodigester impressed Filemon so much that he has decided not only to build one for himself but to build four more for his neighbors under the agreement that they will pay him little by little under the supervision of TAHUDE Foundation Microcredit. TAHUDE Foundation is grateful and appreciates his enthusiasm. His success will impact not only his family and parents, but will also help his community at large.

With the installation of biogas at his home and around his neighbors' circle, Filemon and his neighbors will be able to generate biogas from the manure their cows produce, allowing them to decrease energy costs while providing clean biogas to use for household cooking and processing of their farm products.

Biodigesters can have a significant impact on the environment, and on the health and burden of work which falls mainly on the women and girls. Women must gather firewood, often walking miles to do so, and carry the heavy loads home on their backs. Deforestation, erosion and desertification are all serious consequences of relying on wood in open cookstoves. The second major benefit to women of biogas is that it eliminates the smoke produced by cooking fires which leads to serious lung problems in women and children.

Our small loan in this case will help not just Filemon and his family build a biodigester for their farm and home, but enables him to help four other families as well. And that is our Christmas gift to ourselves.


oklhdan said...

You are amazing!

Anonymous said...

I love reading about your KIVA recipients. This young man sounds like a true winner. He'll go far and help his neighbors, village as well as his family.

Love you,

Linda P. said...

I loved reading about this. I wonder about sun ovens, too. I'll have to search KIVA to see if there's anyone looking for money to build/purchase sun ovens when my current loan recipient has fully repaid and it's time to reinvest. We've used one here at home.

Anonymous said...

I check to see if you have a new post everyday. I love the ones about your cats and share them with my "catty" friends. I will look into KIVA in 2014.
Alice from Texas