ZPCS turns to biogas

chikurubiSamantha Chigogo Herald Correspondent
The Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services (ZPCS) has adopted the use of biogas to curb waste woes at the country’s overpopulated prisons, an official has said.

This comes as the Rural Electrification Fund (REF) has intensified the construction of biogas digesters across the country to complement other energy technologies aimed at providing power to all rural public institutions by 2018.

ZPCS national spokesperson Superintendent Priscillah Mthembo said the organisation had set exhibitions in support of this year’s theme on climate resilience.

“We adopted the use of biogas digesters and we have two by 200 cubic digesters at Chikurubi for heat and light energy saving our forestry,” she said.

“Because of overpopulation, we used to have sewer problems in our prisons, but with biogas digesters it is a thing of the past and we have managed to curb unnecessary sewer bursts within our facilities.”

She said Harare Central Complex and Chikurubi Farm were some of the prisons that had fully operating biogas digesters while the construction of a digester at Rusape Prison was almost complete.

“Drip irrigation is another climate resilient technique that the prisons and correctional services have adopted to save water resources nationwide,” Supt Mthembo said.

“We have drip irrigation at Chikurubi, Hurungwe, Anju Prison Farm and Mutimurefu Prison in Masvingo.”

“Mazowe, Marondera and Ridigita are areas in which we use both the drip and overflow irrigation system for our farm activities which we partake to feed the majority of our inmates.”

ZPCS has been involved in a number of tree planting initiatives to serve energy and resources.

“There is a forestry section at Chikurubi Farm and we are strong partakers of deforestation campaigns which will help us conserve our environment and promote the green revolution,” Supt Mthembo said.

“We also support the use of fireguards to prevent the outbreak and spread of veld fires within the communities that we thrive on.”

ZPCS has partnered with several stakeholders such as Nyaradzo Funeral Services and the Forestry Commission in the tree planting initiative set to boost the country’s forests as deforestation remains the largest threat to the environment.

REF launched the biogas digester project in 2013 and digesters have been rolled out under the National Institutional Biogas Programme as part of the fund’s mandate to avail affordable and environmentally friendly energy to the country.

The benefiting institutions including prisons are using gas produced from the digesters mainly for cooking and water heating.

The 106th edition of the Harare Agricultural Show which started on Monday August 22, will run up to Saturday August 27, under the theme: “Climate Resilience; The New Agricultural Frontier”.

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