Fighting Deforestation by Substituting Wood with Mini Biogas Plants in Restaurants by 2019 in Kumbo, Northwest Region of Cameroon
Deforestation, which is the felling of trees to satisfy a diversity of human wants, is becoming alarming in Bui division leading to unbearable consequences. The cut trees are used in nearly all construction works one can think of and also burnt as fuel for heating or cooking. A rapid survey conducted in the major hotspots of Kumbo Central indicates that 22 out of 26 (84.6%) restaurants solely depend on fuel wood, estimated at some 20tons of logs a week. Experts say this could equal 20 full-grown timbers. This implies that within a year at least 1000 mature timbers are felled for commercial restauration services alone; this without a commensurate replanting. This is evaluated to pose tremendous negative impacts on the ecosystem and climate change such as soil exposure, erosion and degradation, ozone layer depletion and global warming, species extinction, etc. Apart from these, fuel wood energy is unclean as it emits smoke to the environment noted to be carcinogenic. Therefore, if the felling of trees goes unchecked this way, serious consequences will sooner or later befall all forms of life on earth, including ours.
To mitigate this phenomenon, our team set out to determine means of substituting the fuel wood energy with a cleaner, more sustainable, affordable, reliable, and environmentally friendly alternative for restaurants. Biogas energy was found to be the most suitable. The biogas project will have as goal to fight deforestation and obnoxious smokes by equipping 6 heavy wood-consuming restaurants within the city of Kumbo with functional mini biogas plants by 2019. This project is quite suitable and sustainable given the abundance and availability of raw materials (feedstock) which is biodegradable homemade or city waste, and the rudimentary skills needed to operate it. Again, the project does not pose any health or environmental hazards of prime concern. We hope that the realization of this project will enable a more sustainable management of forest wood resources, mitigate climate change and environmental pollution, improve hygiene and sanitation, offer clean and renewable energy to the community, and even improve crop quantity and quality within the city of Kumbo. This falls in line with the development plan of our country (Vision 2035) set by the government for Cameroon to be an emerging economy by 2035. In addition, this biogas project will be contributing directly towards at least 2 of 17 United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) which are: ensuring healthy lives and promoting wellbeing for all at all ages (UN SDG 3), and ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all (UN SDG 7), among others.