ALWATAN BioGas for the poor families

ALWATAN Center is currently engaging in a joint initiative with local stakeholders and foreign volunteers to bring small-scale biogas systems to poor families in the southern West Bank. The first project will provide a biogas digester for a family in the caves village of Ghwein, a few kilometers south of Yatta town.

The poor communities in the hills south of Hebron lack basic energy, food, and water needs. Many Palestinian families life in caves or rudimentary metal-frame structures. They live several kilometers from the nearest town, and in many cases they do not have enough water to plant crops or vegetables of their own. They rely on food donations, and they spend all the money they earn on water and cooking fuel. They raise sheep and goats, whose milk they use to make cheese and yogurt. Their life is very difficult because of the Israeli occupation and the limitations of their lifestyle and location.. The herding is their only sustainable vocation.

The ALWATAN biogas digester being installed in Ghwein uses the inputs of non-potable water and animal waste to create a nutrient-rich compost sludge and methane gas, which powers a cook stove. It can be made from materials readily available in any major town and it can be built and installed in one day. For a community like Ghwein, these biogas digesters lessen dependence on bottled fuel, provide a way to recycle household wastewater for agriculture, and produce excellent fertilizer.

This project in Ghwein was initiated by Adrian Dahlin and Ezra Ranz, two young volunteers from the United States. They learned about biogas during a travel study program in the Middle East with the Center for Ecological Living and Learning ( and the Euphrates Institute ( When the study program ended, they decided to give back to the community by building with ALWATAN Center one of these systems for a family of cave-dwellers in Ghwein in cooperation with Nayef Hashlamoun, President & Founder of ALWATAN Center.

Yair Teller of the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies ( will volunteer his time to lead the building and installation of the project.

Please, email us if you’d like to provide financial support for this project or future biogas projects, or send a message to if you’d like to donate to the Alwatan Center.