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.
A common characteristic of informal settlements in Cameroon is the lack of indoor lighting during the day. To carry out any productive activities, households have to turn on the lights – for those who can afford electricity - or use kerosene lamps or candles adding to their electricity consumption and accompanying energy-related expenses as well as indoor air pollution. This gadget is an innovative passive lighting technology based on a transparent plastic bottle filled with clean water. It is fitted into the corrugated iron roofs of houses without ceilings.
Sac-marmite is an insulated bag into which the food in a pot heated on a stove, continues to cook, while the stove is no longer in use. It is made from poly-cotton fabric and polystyrene balls, rice peels or cotton as an insulator. People can cook anything from meaty stews or vegetable curries to simple rice and soups. Cooking with sac-marmite is easy and simple.
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.