The Malagasy people face difficulties with environmental degradation including deforestation, erosion, and the extinction of indigenous species. There is limited or no access to a clean source of energy. Burning wood or charcoal is a major part of this problem, but inhalation of smoke from this practice also creates serious health issues. As a largely agrarian population, this method of cooking is a way of life for the majority of Malagasy, further perpetuating deforestation and poor health.
We will train Malagasy to build and distribute biodigesters, our solution to address these issues. Biodigester create of methane gas from food and animal wastes, which is used as an alternative to fire wood, reducing air pollution. They are an effective means to contain wastes, which can directly mitigate health issues associated with sanitation. Also, creating biodigesters will create a pipeline for economic growth in the community and alleviate the destruction of ecosystems.
Our long-term goal in Madagascar is to serve 80,000 households by our sixth year in the country. However, with 1.6 billion people worldwide who similarly rely on wood for energy, there is ample room for growth. Initially, VPI has targeted specific east and southern African countries for expansion. The goal is to help solve large problems such as deforestation and destruction of ecosystems and also personal ones such as individual's health all at a viable economic cost.