It has been over six months now since the ban on plastic bags was implemented in Kenya. Officials looked to target sellers and manufacturers head on, outlawing selling, using and producing plastic bags completely
In Nigeria a young green energy innovator has developed an electric mini-grid powered by biogas made from organic waste, and the power it’s generating, is benefitting 550 people of Rije village in Abuja. Dubbed Waste2Watt, this first of its kind renewable energy project in the country, is generating 20 kilowatts of power, after converting agricultural and communal organic waste into electricity, by use of a biogas digester. The electric power generated is then distributed via a mini-grid to the villagers.
Scientists have discovered that the caterpillars residing in hives and that eat the wax from which bees make honey combs, could actually eat away polyethylene plastic!
Earlier this year Kenya imposed a ban on the production, importation, distribution and usage of the non-biodegradable plastic bags which are used in most industrial sectors for packaging of finished commodities and carrying consumables from retail outlets. The ban progressively takes effect in September this year, when consumers and manufacturers will be faced with the somewhat harsh reality of absence of plastic bags from the market, yet an alternative has not been offered.
In a country that has over the years decried wanton destruction of forests which has taken a toll on environmental conservation, while chocking from the plastic bags eyesore, new and innovative ways of utilizing the bags while easing pressure on trees is giving the country a new lease of life. A group of vanguard entrepreneurs have sought to combine the plastic menace and the demand for building materials to come up with plastic poles which are long lasting, environmental friendly and sturdy compared to traditional wooden poles.
Smallholder farming is primarily characterized by differentially low incomes, in particular the poor sub-Saharan African farmers. Closely tied to this are the high proportion of farmers income spent on their energy needs, both at the domestic and crop-production level. There is essentially a correlation between income levels and access to clean modern energy. In Kenya, the energy situation could be getting better, with a social enterprise that invests in an end-to-end solution for smallholder farmers, Takamoto Biogas is tackling the fundamental global problems of deforestation and climate change.
As the global population progresses towards 8.5 billion by 2030, the amount of urban solid waste is budding even faster than the rate of urbanization. In Kenya, solid waste is a precursor to several environmental and health challenges, ranging from clogged drainage and sewers, waterborne diseases like typhoid, cholera and diarrhea, increased upper respiratory diseases from open burning of the garbage, to malaria. Collection and disposal systems are inefficient and are not environmentally-friendly.
(B)energy, a Social Business that provides access to biogas, is a clean leap that has embraced change through an innovative, entrepreneurial, technical, and ecological approach. According to Katrin, the best way to bring change in a developing or poor country is through social change. (B)energy came into existence with the intention of solving energy problems in developing countries, and in the process offering people a chance to make a living as they conserved the environment.
Municipalities in developing countries are increasingly producing solid and liquid wastes. The management of those waste are relevant because of their impact to the environment and health. For instance, disposing waste in surrounding areas become vectors for the development of diseases, and they contribute to produce lixiviates which are already infiltrating into the water table. In addition, solid waste accounts for 5% of the total GHG emission. This becomes an environmental issue that has to be resolved.
Production of electricity from waste has the potential of providing up to 83.8 TeraWatt hours, which is about 20% of the electricity needed in Africa by 2025. This is according to a study co-authored by the European Commission Joint Research Centre. However, this requires stringent waste management policies to be put in place, and today Africa lacks the adequate infrastructure needed to install these environmentally friendly methods.