Biogas & Reedbed

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Between 2008 and 2010 Engineers without Borders, Colorado undertook the evaluation and development of a project assessment for the design and construction of an artificial wetland as part of a proposed initiative for the reclamation of the Mai Khola River environment. (see attachments: {pending})

At present, the project, which was not fully implemented exists in a failed state. In 2017 Madison Ashley Baker submitted the following report: (see attached: {pending}).

Contemporary to the reedbed project, a separate initiative to develop a 50 cubic meter biogas digester in the Ilam market was started. This project was a collaboration between the local municipality, a Finnish NGO {name}, {Nepal alternative energy org} and the local NGO The Namsaling Development Center (NCDC).

Being interested in the potential benefit of these projects and as a result of his growing interest in the outcomes of international development efforts and their effect on the community, beginning in 2010 Byron Bignell began to document the state of both the reed bed and biogas projects.

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By the end of 2013, both the reed bed and the market biogas projects had lapsed into failure, raising many questions as to the causes and contributing factors that led to not one, but both projects failing.

While both projects are within sight of one another there has been no evidence that there were any plans to integrate the two and to have the output of the biogas digester be an input to the reed beds.

From 2014 onwards Byron pursued a number of interviews with project contributors, stakeholders and people in the immediate area around the biogas and reed bed projects. Work on a timeline of both projects is ongoing as reliable documentation for the biogas project is difficult to obtain.

A New Beginning 

Individually each project represents a significant investment in time and construction as well as lost opportunity. While the effort required to revive the projects and integrate them will require still more effort, the potential benefit to the community in terms of a cleaner market, a source of reliable, sustainable energy while also creating a cleaner tributary to the Mai Khola are sufficiently compelling reasons to move ahead with feasibility and environmental studies.

NCDF is proposing a long-term project to clean up the biogas installation. Integrate the biogas outputs with the inputs from the market and supplement inputs into the reed bed. To succeed however will require that the current state of both projects be documented and a clear, manageable plan be developed in order to move ahead.

For the project to become sustainable an economic model must be developed and will require the monetization of the gas and potentially the fertilizer as a means to create the jobs necessary to support the management of both systems.

Currently, we are looking for funding sponsors to support the environmental, feasibility studies and the development of a project plan complete with a timeline and budget.