Transform A Samoan Village With Biogas! By BioEnceptionz

Pledgeme projects

About Transform A Samoan Village With Biogas!

Project 2013-09-24 15:48:00 UTC


Collab Project with The Ākina Foundation

The Ākina Foundation supports social entrepreneurs and ambitious communities to deliver game changing work in the areas of energy, housing, transport, land-use, and consumption and waste.

Official Site - Twitter - Facebook

Here's your chance to use your donation to make a real, positive impact in the world with some exciting technology, and really see the truly transformative results!

Help make a real difference for the people of Piu Village, Samoa and free them from daily open-fire cooking and expensive electricity by unlocking the free, green energy all around them. Stay involved and see the final outcome through a continuing series of video diaries!

I'm intrigued. Tell me more!

To begin, please watch the video above (or even better, on the vimeo site so you can see it in HD!) as it should give you a good general idea of what we want to do and why it's so important. Watched it? Great! So, you'll know that we need $36,000 for the Piu Village home biodigester programme. With this money we will supply six households with full biodigester systems along with clean, new biogas cooktops and biogas lights. This will make a tremendous difference in the lives of these people.

That sounds great! But why Samoa?

First of all, the warm climate of Samoa makes it ideal for a biodigester programme (the digesters love the heat!). But more importantly, Samoa has both an endless resource of green waste to fuel the digesters, as well as a terribly high price of electricity in a nation with a large amount of poverty. In every way, Samoa is an ideal place for projects like this. And the warm, generous people of Piu Village couldn't be more deserving. With this project you will truly see the impact of your donation.

How much of a difference will this programme really make?

A huge difference. For Piu Village the days of cooking daily meals over dirty open fires will be over – no more collecting firewood, no more smoke in the eyes and lungs. For the mothers of Piu Village this will give them more time with their children, with quick, clean cooking facilities right in their homes. Adjustable gas stoves will allow for more options for meals. No longer will households have to go without evening lighting due to the fear of an unaffordable power bill – the biogas lights will provide free illumination. And they can get rid of some of that invasive Merremia vine that has covered croplands and trees! 

While Piu is just a small village, by showcasing these energy solutions there, this opens the door to larger programmes getting going in Samoa and other Pacific Islands with the support of international development assistance donors and philanthropic foundations.

I'm wondering how my donation would actually be spent - what creates the costs?

The majority of the cost goes towards the materials - we will need to import equipment including the biodigester bags, biogas appliances and other custom, speciality items for the project. Another key point is that at this stage there is no local industry for this sort of project in Samoa, so costs also go towards bringing in a small expert team from New Zealand to build the digesters and teach the villagers how to use them. But it's important to note that we see this being the first step in a bigger goal - we want to get things to a point where future systems could be handled by a local company. That would make future biogas projects a lot cheaper. This is just the beginning!

Fantastic! So how long will it take to implement the system in Piu Village?

When we reach our funding goal we'll get to work immediately and hope to have the system up and running in about three months. We’d love to have it ready for Christmas! 

If I contribute how can I be involved with the project as it moves along? How will I see the results?

We want you to fell involved! All contributors will have the chance to sign up for a mailing lost or just choose to follow our blog. This will include regular updates on the project as well as photos and videos from the construction through to the moment the gas cooktops are being used! We want you to feel like you're there with us, because it's your donations that will make this happen.

Along with the chance to be involved in something really special and change lives in Samoa, we're also offering some great rewards including LIMITED EDITION FINE ART PRINTS of original watercolour images of Piu Village children painted by Kristy Barlow. Two of the series of three paintings are below: 

We're also offering genuine lava-lavas from Samoa and for our top donors the chance to be included on an engraved plaque on the site. Plus all donors of $30 or more will receive a dvd of all the videos we make at the end of the project!

Thank you so much to all who have shown an interest in our project and donated. Your contribution means the world to us and we can't wait to get to work in Piu Village, turning your contributions into real change. Please forward this page on to anybody you know who might be interested!

With your help we can permanently transform life in Piu Village for the better! Thanks!

Please visit our Official Website!
And follow us on Facebook and Twitter!

About us

Murray Ward Principal, Global Climate Change Consultancy (GtripleC)
Murray’s career as an environmental professional spans over 35 years. In the last 15 years he has specialised at the forefront of international climate change policy and finance. His role with BioEnceptionz now adds very tangible ‘on the ground’ results to complement two decades of mostly written reports and presentations. “It’s great to get back to some engineering design and technology – where my career started.”
For more details on Murray’s work see

Bill Rucks Principal, Water Alchemy Ltd
Bill is a bio technology expert – and the ‘hands on’ specialist in the BioEnceptionz team. In particular, he has broad experience with biodigester and algae photobioreactor technologies – the core of BioEnceptionz renewable energy work.
For more details on Bill’s work see

Sean Weaver Principal, Carbon Partnership Ltd
Sean has over 25 years experience in practical solutions to resource management problems in New Zealand and the Pacific Islands, principally in the forest conservation sector but extending to climate change policy, carbon markets, bioenergy and education & training.
For more details on Sean’s work see

Video shot and edited by Matt Ward [email protected]


The People Behind Transform A Samoan Village With Biogas!

Profile 04d23958 2d1b 4501 b8f8 02f709d87e92 BioEnceptionz Project admin

BioEnceptionz is a New Zealand-based entity operating under the principles of a not-for-profit social enterprise.

We conceive of, plan with host governments and donors, and implement feasibility studies involving advanced biomass and waste-based energy systems suitable for Pacific Island and other developing countries. In addition to these studies providing ‘seeing is believing’ proof of the technical and economic applicability of the technologies, they also will involve the development of financeable business models that can be employed by local companies in the subsequent roll-out of these systems to the betterment of the environment and economies in these countries.

The three directors of BioEnceptionz bring to this collaboration their detailed experiences over many years in owning and operating environmental businesses.


    Big, exciting news on the Piu Village biodigester project!

    04:59AM Wed 11/06/14 on Transform A Samoan Village With Biogas!

    Hello Pledgers/Supporters!

    We promised we'd find a way to make this project a reality and today we are pleased to bring you a very exciting development.

    Following our unsuccessful Pledgeme campaign late last year we immediately got to work seeking other means of funding to build the six household biogas systems in Piu Village. One of these was to assist Piu in applying for funding from the Civil Society Support Programme in Samoa. We’re pleased to announce that the Piu proposal has been accepted - that’s right, bio-energy will indeed be coming to Piu Village households!

    Under the CSSP deal, Piu needs to put up about 17% of the total costs before the rest of the funds are released. This required self-contribution confirms that there is true ownership of the project by the village. In practice this means $4500 NZD must be fundraised. We will be helping out Piu Village with this, and we’re confident that through our joint efforts we’ll get there. Already $700 has been donated through our website (and a heartfelt thank you to all who have given) leaving us needing to raise somewhere in the range of $3800. We aim to do this as quickly as possible and hope to begin installing the biogas systems in the coming weeks!

    If you would like to donate towards this cause (and every cent earned through our donations tab will go directly to the Piu project) please visit

    For more information about the Civil Society Support Programme please visit

    If you have any questions or suggestions please don’t hesitate to get in touch through our Facebook page or via email to [email protected]!

    We'll keep you posted as things develop!


    The BioEnceptionz/Piu Village team

    Comment on this update:

    You need to pledge to see this update.

    Our new plan for funding the Piu Village biodigester programme

    03:49AM Fri 07/02/14 on Transform A Samoan Village With Biogas!


    You're receiving this message because you were one of the wonderful supporters who helped us by pledging to or following our pledgeme project aiming to bring household biodigesters to Piu Village.

    Our pledge drive was unsuccessful but that hasn't hurt out resolve. We've posted a new blog at our site explaining where things currently stand and how we intend to raise the necessary funds. You can read it here and I'll quickly sum it up below:

    Our new plan is to build the household digesters one-by-one, buidling and installing a new system (with appliances) for every $4500 we've raised. We've also managed a 25% cost reduction through an innovative new design.

    We're in discussions with corporate sponsors in Samoa, but we've also added a donations button to our website that you can access by clicking here. With the combination of corporate sponsorship and our community fundraising effort we hope to get all six systems installed during 2014! 

    If everyone who pledged to our campaign were to donate that amount through our website we'd already be over 70% towards the first installation!

    Please consider helping us again - we remain fully determined to bring positive change to Piu Village through our biodigester programme. They are truly deserving!

    Thanks for reading, thanks for your support, and if you can think of any ways to help us out we'd truly appreciate it, so don't hesitate to get in touch! We'd also appreciate anybody spreading the word!

    Together let's make 2014 an exciting one for Piu Village.

    Thank you / Fa'afetai

    -The BioEnceptionz Team

    Comment on this update:

    We wanted to say thanks, and that we're not giving up!

    10:53AM Mon 28/10/13 on Transform A Samoan Village With Biogas!

    As you may know, our pledgeme failed to meet it's goal. We'll be doing a lot of reflecting on why exactly that was, but for now we wanted to thank all of you who decided to give towards our project. It's proof that support for this sort of work is out there, and perhaps with a bit of luck and hitting the right audience we could have reached our goal. This was all a bit of an experiment, and while we failed to reach the goal we're still thrilled with the positive feedback we received.

    The next point we want to make is this: We're not giving up! We're determined to expand our biogas project in Piu Village and we're already actively investigating other means of doing so. We have a range of ideas that we will explore, including with possible local corporate sponsors, international funding programmes and philanthropic donors. 

    We will also continue our R&D to see if we can bring the costs down for these initial projects.

    Awareness about Piu Village and BioEnceptionz' efforts to bring biogas energy systems to Samoan communities did get a huge boost last week during the visit of Vicki Treadell, the British High Commissioner to New Zealand and Samoa. Both local TV and print media ran stories about Piu Village and the upcoming biogas Resource Testing and Community Engagement Centre that we will build in Apia early in the New Year with UK funding support. 

    We are hopeful that this very positive awareness raising will help our efforts to bring together as soon as possible the needed mix of funding sources to make the Piu Village households project a reality.

    To continue to follow our progress, please like our facebook page at or follow us at

    In addition we'll be continuing to post blogs on our official website -

    Thanks once again to each and every one of you. Watch this space!


    The Bioenceptionz Team.

    Comment on this update:

    Less than two weeks left! (video)

    06:02AM Tue 15/10/13 on Transform A Samoan Village With Biogas!

    You can like us at, and follow us at

    If you can think of anywhere to share our project, we'd love your help!

    Fa'afetai/Thank You

    The Bioenceptionz Piu Village Team.

    Comment on this update:

    Second artwork reward revealed.

    11:12AM Mon 14/10/13 on Transform A Samoan Village With Biogas!

    Hello supporters!

    One of our reward levels allows you one of three pieces of art, but until now we only had one on display. Some had wondered about the other pieces, so today I'm pleased to reveal one of them below:

    These pieces of art were created by Kristy Barlow, who joined us on our last trip to Samoa and met the children of Piu Village that are featured in these watercolours.

    For your chance to have one or more of these art pieces, just donate $70 or more. We'll print them on fine art paper!

    Please share to anyone who may be interested and thanks again for your support.

    The BioEnceptionz Piu Village Team.

    Comment on this update:

    You need to pledge to see this update.


      Ian Shearer
      2013-10-27 15:57:13 UTC

      Ian Shearer has pledged on 24 campaigns

      Avatar square
      David Doniger
      2013-10-27 12:56:54 UTC

      David Doniger has pledged on 1 campaign

      Avatar square
      jeanette fitzsimons
      2013-10-27 08:25:57 UTC

      jeanette fitzsimons has pledged on 2 campaigns

      Avatar square
      Chris Dodwell
      2013-10-24 11:50:39 UTC

      Chris Dodwell has pledged on 1 campaign

      Avatar square
      Chris Livesey
      2013-10-24 03:44:23 UTC

      Chris Livesey has pledged on 11 campaigns

      Avatar square
      2013-10-24 01:47:25 UTC

      Ralph has pledged on 3 campaigns

      Avatar square
      Anonymous pledger
      2013-10-21 10:08:05 UTC

      This pledger has chosen to pledge anonymously

      Sam Callander
      2013-10-21 01:48:40 UTC

      Sam Callander has pledged on 9 campaigns

      Mary Elizabeth Holmes
      2013-10-18 06:39:02 UTC

      Mary Elizabeth Holmes has pledged on 3 campaigns

      Avatar square
      Anonymous pledger
      2013-10-17 03:25:35 UTC

      This pledger has chosen to pledge anonymously

      Shortie Waswo
      2013-10-16 21:57:17 UTC

      Shortie Waswo has pledged on 2 campaigns

      Carmel Challenger
      2013-10-16 21:17:58 UTC

      Carmel Challenger has pledged on 1 campaign

      2013-10-15 23:45:35 UTC

      Ezra has pledged on 4 campaigns

      Avatar square
      Anonymous pledger
      2013-10-12 00:19:49 UTC

      This pledger has chosen to pledge anonymously

      Avatar square
      Anonymous pledger
      2013-10-10 19:43:43 UTC

      This pledger has chosen to pledge anonymously

      Sarah Loggie
      2013-10-10 19:33:59 UTC

      Sarah Loggie has pledged on 2 campaigns

      Gareth Ward
      2013-10-08 22:40:23 UTC

      Gareth Ward has pledged on 2 campaigns

      Avatar square
      Anonymous pledger
      2013-10-08 04:09:08 UTC

      This pledger has chosen to pledge anonymously

      Avatar square
      M McCartney
      2013-10-07 20:48:34 UTC

      M McCartney has pledged on 4 campaigns

      Mele Wendt
      2013-10-07 20:35:10 UTC

      Mele Wendt has pledged on 4 campaigns

      Avatar square
      Anonymous pledger
      2013-10-07 10:34:11 UTC

      This pledger has chosen to pledge anonymously

      Avatar square
      Anonymous pledger
      2013-10-07 03:44:42 UTC

      This pledger has chosen to pledge anonymously

      2013-10-05 23:51:35 UTC

      Miraz has pledged on 4 campaigns

      Vesta Rivers
      2013-10-04 20:31:35 UTC

      Vesta Rivers has pledged on 1 campaign

      Alofa Julian Uriel
      2013-10-04 05:10:05 UTC

      Alofa Julian Uriel has pledged on 1 campaign

      Avatar square
      Mary Redmayne
      2013-10-04 05:04:06 UTC

      Mary Redmayne has pledged on 1 campaign

      Avatar square
      Greg and Jan Ward
      2013-10-04 00:59:17 UTC

      Greg and Jan Ward has pledged on 1 campaign

      Avatar square
      Anonymous pledger
      2013-10-04 00:26:03 UTC

      This pledger has chosen to pledge anonymously

      Avatar square
      Greg Brown
      2013-10-04 00:12:25 UTC

      Greg Brown has pledged on 3 campaigns

      Hemon Dey
      2013-10-03 09:41:15 UTC

      Hemon Dey has pledged on 1 campaign

      Followers of Transform A Samoan Village With Biogas!

      This project was unsuccessful and finished on 27/10/2013 at 3:57 PM.