(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.
It’s been 21 years since the Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda, such devastating tragedy there are always losses in most areas of a country life. One of the biggest issues was that there were almost 100,000 prisoners in prisons who were all waiting for their trials. There have been a lot of environmental issues related to the prisons’, one being that the wood from neighboring forests was used for cooking to feed the prisoners, which was accelerating deforestation until the time Rwanda Correctional Service started using biogas.
ADI Systems has been specializing in the design and construction of industrial wastewater treatment systems for over 30 years. Berni Chapman is a wastewater treatment specialist with ADI Systems, who has extensive experience in waste-to-energy projects particularly in the food industry, everything from initial laboratory and pilot scale testing through to detailed design. Angela McClowry from Cleanleap recently interviewed Berni to discuss wastewater treatment in emerging economies.
Dilla, a city 361 km South of Addis Ababa, is one of the pivotal areas of coffee production in Ethiopia, with Ethiopia being among the greatest coffee producers in the world. With this, comes a number of challenges such as establishing reliable energy sources for coffee processing and dealing with waste by-products. In July 2011, a plan was resurrected that had laid idle for over 20 years began, which was to create the first Ethiopian Briquette Factory. This was a move meant to offer an important firewood alternative and also a way of managing coffee husks wastes, all this in the light of urbanization and population growth.
Long Sokhon is a small-scale farmer in Cambodia’s Pursat Province. Like 85% of Cambodians, she makes a modest living off the land. She used to cook for her family of eight over a wood-chip fire by night. Sokhon lived the way most do in rural Cambodia—one of the poorest countries in South East Asia with a population of 15.8 million. Then, she was given the opportunity to have a 2,000 litre slate-grey tank installed in the vegetable patch. Long Sokhon was chosen as part of a biodigester pilot project run by Engineers Without Borders Australia and Live & Learn Environmental Education.
When you arrive at Kigali International Airport or any other border of Rwanda, you might get surprised when you see that your plastic bags are confiscated if you have some items packed into plastics bags. Since 2008, Rwanda has established a law regarding the prohibition of the importation and usage of polyethylene bags, and set heavy fines to anyone trying to import or use them. Plastic bags were replaced by paper bags. However, there are some situations where plastic bags are needed, such as in the health and agriculture sector, so there was a need to come up with an innovative solution to avoid environmental damage that can be caused by those plastic bags.
In Cameroon, Nigeria and Sierra Leone, there is a growing number of entrepreneurs who are turning rubbish into innovation by making paving tiles and building materials from plastic waste. Pierre Kamsouloum, an entrepreneur from the Northern region of Cameroon was pioneering the technology. Pierre joined forces with Living Earth, an international NGO, and has travelled across Cameroon and to Nigeria and Sierra Leone to train others.
The efficiency of waste management is an important aspect of sustainablity - especially with the global amount of waste expected to dramatically increase over the coming decades. Mobile technology from IBM is being used for mapping and tracking waste collection, as well as reporting related data in real-time, in order to enhance related decision-making.