Senegal Embraces "Green Microfinance”
The National Agency of Eco-Villages (ANEV) and the Japanese International Cooperation Agency signed an agreement with the Coki Epicenter Rural Bank to implement the Environmental Protection and Financial Sustainability Program. The program aims to promote the use of biodigesters that convert waste into renewable energy.
The agreement establishes the epicenter’s Rural Bank as an intermediary between ANEV and individual microfinance partners. This structure allows partners to reimburse the bank directly, and enables the bank to relend money to new partners interested in constructing biogas systems.
By combusting methane produced from the decomposition of manure without oxygen, biodigesters help reduce methane emissions and prevent it from being released into the atmosphere. Instead, it can be used as gas for cooking, heating and lighting. After the gas is released, the remaining waste product is mixed with straw to create rich compost that can be sold as a natural fertilizer for gardeners. Biodigesters also help women in rural settings have access to cooking fuel, and reduce their expenses towards butane gas, firewood or charcoal