Michael's Dispatches

Biogas Comes to Afghanistan


08 Jun 2011

Thanks to a Gurkha Soldier, biogas has come to Afghanistan.  In a nutshell, during a British Army tracking school in Borneo, a Gurkha named Lalit convinced me to research biogas for Afghanistan.  More accurately, Lalit kind of bugged me into it.  I travelled to Afghanistan, Nepal (twice), Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos while researching the biogas.  I travelled to all the right places, met with all the right people, and read stacks of literature.  I then wrote two major dispatches about biogas.  General Petraeus read the articles and adopted biogas for Afghanistan.  I talked with General Petraeus about this in his office a couple days ago.  General Petraeus is fully behind it.  All this thanks to Lalit, who just kept bugging me in Borneo.  And now, I am back in Afghanistan and researching Lalit's biogas project before heading out with combat forces. 

Please read the first biogas dispatch published last year, all inspired by Lalit, that caused General Petraeus to bring biogas to Afghanistan.

(By the way, I contacted Lalit's commander to please pass the word to Lalit.  The commander is on it.)

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  • This commment is unpublished.
    Al Reasin · 10 years ago
    After reading your dispatch on the production of methane gas from human and animal waste for cooking, heating and lighting in isolated villages, I wrote several times every elected and government official I thought would have some influence on redirecting some efforts to that inexpensive "win the hearts of the people" effort. I should have known that General Petraeus was the one to approach instead of the usual suspects inside the beltway. I wish General Petraeus would consider running for President. Our county needs him.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Jeff Stanley · 10 years ago
    It's refreshing to read about a leader who is concerned about results more than patronage.
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    phil childers · 10 years ago
    I agree, al reasin!!!! Gen. Petraeus, thank God that you are in charge!!!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    William Prichard · 10 years ago
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Peggy Horgan · 10 years ago
    I also agree with Al Reasin--Gen. Petraeus is our man!!!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Ric Walters · 10 years ago
    Why do you think Obama made him head of the CIA - not because he's such a great thinker (which he is), but to keep him out of politics.
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    Tim Woods · 10 years ago
    PLEASE, please, please forward some sources for commercially made farm/residential biogas generators, or, some simple plans/drawings for the type of GOBAR gas systems Gen. Petraeus is championing for Afghanistan. I have a son in country with the 10th MTN, so he could get those plans from you while he's there. Thanks millions Michael!!!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Vlad the Impala · 10 years ago
    [quote name="William Prichard"]Why?[/quote]

    I assume from your title that you are asking why Mr. Yon has a "support" request at the end of his posts.

    Look at the places Mr. Yon has traveled, listed in this short post: "I travelled to Afghanistan, Nepal (twice), Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos while researching the biogas."

    Nobody begrudges the request for support, look at the results he's gotten just by talking to the right people after (intensively!) researching this. And he's done this without trying to personally benefit from it, it just seemed like the Right Thing to do for the people of Afghanistan, and I heartily agree. And it might help Afghans look more favorably on Western Civilization through Mr. Yon's efforts here.
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    Dennis · 10 years ago
    Hey Michael! We should implement BioGas in rural area in the US!
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    Ed Mears, Major · 10 years ago
    Michael, thank you for the follow up. I hope you have time to do a more in-depth story of the work ISAF, CSTC-A, SOTF and USFOR-A are doing with biogas. Regarding the 10th MTN request for support: have your son contact the USFOR-A Engineers for support. We are building institutional systems for Ministry of Justice facilities like prisons and planning systems for both police and army posts. These are primarily for the treatment of human waste with the benefit of methane gas. The rural applications are being designed and installed by SOTF folks and some projects with Ministry of Agriculture. We are focused on using local contractors and local materials to ensure Afghan-first. The fancy, western-technology is not needed for these basic applications. Keeping it affordable is critical to success.
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    Violette · 10 years ago
    with a little bit hard work...Making"the birds and squirrels happy"along side with the good people in Afghanistan,is the beginning of this century's achievement.
    And YEP,President Petraeus for real hope and change !
    Michael,you have a BIG HEART !
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Michael Yon · 10 years ago
    Thank you Al, and others who have supported this idea. It can make a big difference on many levels.
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    Tom · 10 years ago
    I wondered about this last year when I read your original articles about it. I realized then it could have enormous impact in Afghanistan and hoped your articles would start the ball rolling on getting this in place there.

    God bless, Michael, for all you continue to do for the people of Iraq and Afghanistan, and for letting all of us at home know what's going on overseas. I've been reading you since you first went to Iraq and your predictions in both Iraq and Afghanistan have all been spot on.

    Keep up the good work. Hopefully, though, you'll be out of a job soon and can come home with the rest of our troops after we achieve victory.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    ujjwal · 10 years ago
    nice idea by Mr.Lalit

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