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Engineers Without Borders and Live and Learn in partnership with Australia Aid have developed an award winning social enterprise &#;ATEC Biodigesters&#; which is supporting communities to gain access to affordable biodigesters that convert animal manure into clean gas for cooking, and into organic fertiliser for farming. It&#;s an exciting and transformative innovation making a real difference to people&#;s lives.  Watch The Brown Revolution in action.

Globally, cooking with charcoal is a common occurrence for people living in poor communities – around billion people still cook and heat their homes using solid fuels (including wood, crop wastes, charcoal, coal and dung). However inefficient cooking fuels and technologies produce high levels of dangerous household air pollution, with small soot particles that penetrate deep into the lungs. In Cambodia alone, cooking with wood kills more people than traffic accidents each year, and globally it kills more people than malaria.

But we are changing this with the award winning ATEC Biodigester program – a perfect example of a modern aid innovation helping people in the developing world to tackle a number of systemic challenges: 

Health – Biogas is a clean affordable alternative for many of the billion people (many of whom are poor) who still cook and heat their homes using polluting solid fuels in open fires and leaky stoves. 

Equality of Opportunity – With biogas on tap the daily time-consuming burden of finding fuel is alleviated. This burden disporportionately falls on women and girls, reducing their time for and access to other activities, including education and income generating employment.

Economic and Environmental – With an average household saving of $ per year with the switch to biodigester technology saves households money. And by using animal manure to generate biogas, domestic cleanliness and sanitation can be better managed. In addition, by removing the need to chop down trees for fuel, both deforestation and forest degradation are reduced which is really good news for the environment.

But the work hasn&#;t stopped here as we are looking at more ways to expand the scope of how waste can be better utilised to improve livelihoods in the developing world.  Read more about our work with AtecBio here.  You too can be part of the solution – check out the ways you can support our work here.