Sustainability Challenges and Opportunities of Generating Biogas From Water Hyacinth in Ndunga Village, Kenya

"Recent studies show possibilities of producing bio-energy from water hyacinth thus generating avenues for research, technological development and marketing of its energy products. As the search for alternatives to clean energy sources intensifies in this age of industrialization, coupled with the increasing energy costs on conventional energy sources, water hyacinth holds a strong promise in the production of clean renewable energy. Though it possess significant benefits, there is need to understand the viability and sustainability of such a technology through assessment of likely socio-economic and environmental impacts to the local community and environment in general. The study was undertaken to determine potential of water hyacinth E. crassipes as a suitable source of renewable energy in an effort to pursue alternative approaches in the management of water hyacinth in Lake Victoria. The study was carried out in a small village called Ndunga, in three phases, employing both descriptive and analytical data collection techniques. The study established that the utilization of water hyacinth to yield biogas adds value to the noxious weed, while the bi-product slurry can be added in to agricultural soil, as a bio fertilizer, to boost its nutrient composition. As a result, this technological development is viewed as a breakthrough in the renewable energy sector through bridging present energy provision gaps for rural communities living within ecosystems infested by water hyacinth, whereas contributing to controlled management of water hyacinth through increased harvesting."