Nkanyiso Education and Sustainability Centre

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Nkanyiso Education and Sustainability Centre: Biogas the future

Alice, South AfricaLusikisiki, South Africa
Year Founded:
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Project Stage:
$50,000 - $100,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Shortage of energy has led people calling Africa the Dark Continent. With more than 60 percent of African people still staying in the dark in this century the problem seems to be far from over. To clear this paranormal situation, the Ubulongwe biogas project will convert animal waste into methane.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

Every waste can be turned to energy
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

More than 1000 people do not have electricity in rural areas surrounding the Alice town in South Africa according to a research that was done by the University of Fort Hare Institute of Renewable energy. The problem being the non affordability and lack of funds to purchase electricity. lncidences of deforestation, pollution and lower yields have increased as villagers have exposed the once prosperous environment to desertification.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

The biogas project provides an alternative source of energy to those who do not have electricity in Melani Rural area. The energy is extracted from methane that is produced when animal waste ferment inside a digester. The methane is collected using small balloons that are portable and can be connected to biogas stove or biogas lamps. Furthermore, the waste that is produced after extraction of methane can be used as farm manure that is very high in potassium and phosphorus.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

The methane takes around 40-60 days to build up in a digester. Then the gas is collected using some portable balloons that can be connected to separate unit of stoves or using pressure tube to divert the gas direct to a near kitchen. The slurry (waste) that remains is then pushed out of the digester by injecting new animal waste. The slurry is then deposited to farms in order to improve fertility and increase yields.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

Up to date the project has helped more than 20 families in Melani villages who were struggling to get energy.The families usually cook 3 meals per day. Therefore, this means a balloon that can carry 10 litres of water can hold gas that can be used for 4-7 days depending on what is cooked. Yet, the pressure tubes that are connected to the digester next to a hall that is serving 15 kids per days are operational throughout the weekdays. The slurry that is produced has helped an agricultural co operative to increase their farm yields by over 40 percent compared to previous 2 years.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

The project is set to be expanded to Lusikisiki a rural area with over 40000 inhabitants.The idea is to combine biogas usage with solar energy. Therefore, workshops on these two energy sources were done in 10 primary schools in November 2014.Over 1500 learners were taught of the usage of these two energy sources in 1 week. First we are targeting to install over 100-200 solar kits in 2015 if funding comes along, and build at least 3 bio digesters thatcan carry 5000 litres.

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

The plan is to install biogas kits that are composed of stoves, lights and balloons that can be purchased cheaply with subsidized funds. The gas is charged when villagers come to collect with balloons.Similarly, the other plan is to supplement bio gas with solar energy. Solar provision will be charged at least US$5/month per household in order to generate income and expand the project to other areas.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

So far the targeted area is an open market. Hence, we have already done an environmental scanning on the availability of cow dung in Lusikisiki and possibilities of solar energy provision.

Founding Story

It all started in 2010 when l was participating on an online course that was hosted by the World Bank Institute. The final assignment in that course was to submit an idea that would change lives in surrounding communities. I submitted this idea of biogas and surprisingly the idea was chosen amongst 5000 entries to participate in a Global Giving Online Challenge to raise the much needed resources to kick start the project. Although it was hard to do crowd funding l did my best. Then in 2011 l secured a sponsor to build a 10000 litre biogas digester in Melani Village. In 2012 the biogas project was commisioned.Then in 2013 it was worth considering enlarging the idea by forming an Non Profit Organisation.


The team is composed of 5 full time members and 7 volunteers. The 5 members are the Executive of the NPO holding a minimum qualification of Bachelors Degree.
About You
Nkanyiso Sustainability and Education Centre
About You
First Name


Last Name


About Your Project
Organization Name

Nkanyiso Sustainability and Education Centre

How long has your organization been operating?

Organization Country

, EC, Lusikisiki

Country where this project is creating social impact

, EC, Alice

What awards or honors has the project received?
Funding: How is your project financial supported?

Friends and family, Individuals, Regional government.

Please list your date of birth (YYYY/MM/DD)


Please tell us how leadership training would help you to make an even greater impact on the social innovation field.

As a Director to the organisation l believe that connecting to other Changemakers will help improve our social outreach programmes and even broaden our networking channels. This would in turn lead to collaborations with other changemakers and idea sharing to access the viability of ideas and giving feedback. Moreso, considering that most innovator are emerging it might be worthwhile to learn from their success stories on how they achieved certain goals in their countries or communities. Therefore, lm positive that such a training is very beneficiary.

Please enclose a short personal biography.

Cheteni enjoys bringing social change to communities and creating solutions to problems. As a result he is a World Bank certified Social Innovator. Currently he is the Director of Nkanyiso Education and Sustainability Centre, an NPO he founded. He is also serving as the Chairman of the World Youth Government representing the African continent. Also, he is serving as a Google Student Ambassador Advisor representing the Sub Sahara. Cheteni is a Kairos Fellow impacting disadvantaged communities with entrepreneurship skills making him a rare diamond in Africa. Furthermore, he is certified bio-entreprenuer who is in love with anything that preserves the environment yet empowering communities by improving their standard of living. In 2013 he was a Commonwealth Youth Awards for Developmental Work Finalist worldwide and represented the African Region. In 2014 he was a Finalist in the Startlife Business Plan Competition (Netherlands). In 2014 he also won the Google Online Marketing Challenge in Africa. Cheteni once served as a Chief Administrator for ENACTUS Fort Hare leading the team to their first ever Grand National Finals of the ENACTUS Competition, with his biogas project scooping prizes in the same competition from 2011-2014.