Human dung used to generate power at a South African School-Probably Truth!

Human Dung Used To Generate Electricity at South African SchoolProbably Truth!

Summary of eRumor:

The story tells of a teacher in a poor area of South Africa who wanted his students to learn computing.
He got Dell to offer to donate computers, but he needed electricity.
After a failed attempt at solar power, he settled on a solution that used human dung to powere generators for the electricity to run the computers.

The Truth:

As with many eRumors, this story doesn’t specify where this took place or any names of the people or companies involved except Dell.
It’s quite possibly true, however, because using human dung as a source of energy is not unique to this South African village.
The process is known as biogas (or bio-gas) generation and is being used in many parts of the world where normal electrical service is not available.
Collected dung can emit methane gas which can then be used to run generators.

There is a project in the Maphephetheni area of Natal Province in South Africa that could be the one the eRumor is based on.
It involves more than the use of biogas technology and included solar technology as well.
Some homes were set up with solar equipment but Myeka High School not only got solar capabilities but also a biogas system that was connected to 16 toilets and two inlets for cow dung.

Last updated 2/22/05