Grameen Shakti won an Ashden Gold Award in 2006 for providing photovoltaic solar-home-systems through affordable loans to 65,000 households in Bangladesh. It has since gone from strength to strength, winning an Ashden Oustanding Achievement award in 2008 and diversifying into providing clean cooking solutions, selling cheap, efficient cooking stoves and constructing biogas plants with trained technicians.
Ashden Awards assessor Dr David Fulford recently visited a supervisor training course run by a Grameen Shakti regional office in the town of Habiganj in the Sylhet region, to the east of the country.
Experienced Grameen Shakti biogas installation staff show about 28 trainee supervisors the various parts of the plant and how to measure the critical dimensions that need to be correctly made to make sure the plant works correctly.
This particular biogas plant is owned by a local farmer, Farhad Hussain, who decided to install it after seeing one being built for another local farmer. He visited the local Grameen Shakti office and asked them to build him one.
Hussain expects to make enough gas to enable all the food to be cooked for his family as well as his twenty cattle. He also expects to save the Taka 3,000 per month that he currently pays for the briquettes that the family use for cooking.
Hussain is currently selling the cattle dung from his cattle to other farmers in the area as fertiliser. Once he has the biogas plant, he expects to get more money from selling the bio-slurry from the plant, as it has a much better quality as a fertiliser.
Find out more about Grameen Shakti here.