November 22. 2015
Wundanyi Market: Turning Waste into Energy
'Don't let any waste going to waste'!! ...Is the message of the newly set up Youth Group in Wundanyi, who are working closely together with Fieke from Biogas Taita to reduce waste to landfill, to clean up the market and to provide the local schools with a biogas with valuable organic waste, creating a closed loop organic waste cycle benefiting all people involved, and the broader community plus the environment of course!
Biogas Taita has successfully started a pilot project with the market in Wundanyi Town to turn waste into energy. A lot of organic waste goes to waste and ends up in landfill. This is not only costly for the local County Government as landfill space is scarce and transport is expensive, it is also very harmfull for our environment. Organic waste in landfill starts rotting and releases a gas called methane, which is much more damaging then carbon dioxide and therefor contributes significantly to climate change.
At the same time, we are trying to reduce deforestation by replacing cooking with firewood with the promotion and provision of an alternative clean cooking fuel called biogas. Biogas is produced from any organic waste; human, animal and kitchen/food waste. The gas also improves a healthy cooking environment for people as smoke from cooking fire causes over 4.3 million deaths a year in the world (more then Aids or Malaria). Together with enthusiastic youth from Wundanyi, who have now officially registered themselves as a group called ‘Samawati Dragons’, waste is collected every day. The waste gets collected and taken to a shed next to the market. Here the waste gets sorted and shredded so it can be used for biogas plants. Two schools are receiving the organic shredded waste at a small fee, to compliment their feedstock for the biogas plant and boost gas production for cooking all the meals. This way, the schools do not have use firewood anymore, save a lot of costs, save lunch expenses for the students (firewood contribution) and at the same time contribute to a reduction in deforestation and impact on our environment. This project, which is driven by the Youth Group, and supported by all the market traders and the schools, is a very good example of how we can all take responsibility in the community to reduce our environmental impact, save our forests and therefor save our environment on which we depend for water, health and food production. The project is also a great way of raising awareness about using our resources wisely and not let waste go to waste. This project brings together different stakeholders that can really make a difference!
The initiative has also a had a big impact on how waste is seen by the community, changing the perceptions of many towards the value of waste, and has raised a lot of awareness on alternative fuel options and how we can all turn waste into valuable energy.