UCU students embark on biogas to save cooking expenses

By Eriah Lule

In 2021, a sack of charcoal costs UGshs 120,000. However, this could not last a month if you were cooking beans. Uganda Christian University (UCU), through the School of Business, has held a business expo where a group of five students pursuing a bachelor of business administration (BBA) has diverse means to provide cheap and clean cooking.

The Greenium Biogas Energy, a student-based project, sought to save the masses from the growing expense of cooking through charcoal and firewood but with biogas production . A process in which cow dung and food residue are fermented and processed to produce gas, which is primarily used in cooking and other applications.

The project aims at fighting environmental destruction through the cutting of forests to make firewood, charcoal and food waste management.

Growing up with agricultural parents, Mellisa Nassaka saw biogas and other agricultural projects being implemented by her parents. This didn’t only intrigue her mind but rather suggested the project to her group members, who appreciated the idea and carried it on.

“I wouldn’t call it a blessing in disguise, but surprisingly, one of our group mates, Rhona Akankwasa, has a relative who had cows and offered to give us the cow dung,” added Opio.

Through various consultations and research, the group used the knowledge acquired to establish their first prototype, which was just three weeks before the exhibition.

During the exhibition, the group tested the gas stove to see if the flame lasted a longer time. This is because the group’s expectations didn’t correspond with the fermentation production process for four weeks.

The group dreams of establishing their first project that can be used at the university dining or Eunice’s guest house if given a chance .

The Dean of the School of Business, Vincent Kisenyi, was very pleased with the students’ projects that aimed to combat environmental degradation and improper waste management, a major challenge that the country is facing.

“I am  always gratified by such projects, as the school, we are willing to support our students to implement their products such that they achieve both academically and monetary”,he said,” As the university administration we are trying to pattern with different organisations to implement  such projects so as they are executed”.

According to Kisenyi, the school is going to engage with the Faculty of Engineering and Design under their department of Renewable Energy to devise means of executing this project in a professional manner to benefit the society at large.

Before the exhibition, the project was first housed in a cleaner’s room in Nsibambi Hall but later transferred to Opio’s room in Nsibambi because it needed maximum attention since it was in the open.

Many people amidst the UCU fraternity were amazed by this project. They kept inquiring about the project or expressing their interest in the project.

Opio Milton, Mellisa Nassaka, Grace Obukor, Kule Erisa,Komuhangi Molly, and Nassimbwa Divine are year one students of Bachelor’s of Business administration who make up Greenium Biogas energy.