Scaling-up the adoption of bio-digesters: Lessons learnt from Were Ilu Woreda


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Biogas Dissemination Scale-up Programme (NBPE+) has documented the lessons learnt from Were Ilu, one of the programme implementation woredas (districts) in Ethiopia’s Amhara regional state. The woreda has succeeded in constructing 150 bio-digesters within a year while achieving a high rate of functionality. 

The NBPE+ programme is being implemented with funding from the Government of Ethiopia and the European Union. The programme aims to construct 36,000 household bio-digesters in 63 months in nine regions[i]. So far, the programme has accomplished its annual targets over the last three years, however, functionality and access to finance still require consorted efforts.

To unlock bottlenecks relating to the dissemination of the bio-digester technology, Were Ilu Woreda energy experts spread the word by promoting the technology and also, the co-products: energy and bio-slurry. Although many households were interested in this technology, finance often became a limiting factor. To counteract this issue, the Woreda energy experts linked these households to a microfinance institution; and engaged the private sector to deliver quality construction and aftersales service.

Another interesting development involves the use of bio-slurry for seed dressing – which the process of treating seeds with antifungal or antimicrobial chemicals before sowing them. This technique has multiple benefits on crops, including healthier growth, higher yields and improved resilience to pests.

Through these consorted efforts, the Were Ilu Woreda has managed to produce 150 biodigesters in a year and achieve 90% functionality. While at the same time they have seen improvements in their crops through the use of bio-slurry and seed dressing.

Click on the image above to download the report

To learn more about the NBPE+ programme in Were Ilu - please read our report "Scaling-up the adoption of bio-digesters: Lessons learned from Were Ilu Woreda".

To learn more about the NBPE+ programme in Ethiopia,  please visit the webpage

[1] Afar, Amhara, Benishangul-Gumuz, Gambella, Oromia, Sidama, SNNPR, Somali and Tigray.

Saroj Rai

Energy Sector Leader