Landfill- and Biogas Combined Heat and Power Unit as Sustainable CDM and Infrastructure Project in the Gambia
In common with many African countries the Gambia has a waste problem, which not only threatens the environment of this West African country, but also harms the health of it’s people. In addition, like most African countries, the Gambia suffers from an inadequate and unstable energy supply, which has huge, negative socio-economic consequences.
Hence Project Lighthouse Africa (PLA) has become involved with a Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) Project, in order to contribute to an ecologically meaningful and sustainable handling and utilization of waste in the Gambia. Related benefits will include job creation, as well as development of know-how and technology transfer in the fields of waste and environmental management. Also collaboration with academic institutions shall be established to enhance the database and knowledge transfer.
The approach integrates the various aspects of waste and environmental management, recycling, reliable power generation through renewable energies, sustainable/organic agriculture, as well as public awareness programs and information / education campaigns.
The project design includes following aspects:
- Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) project (first authorised CDM project in the Gambia)
- Fundamental contribution to infrastructural development of the Gambia (waste / sewage water management, stable supply with green energy, food hygienic and security)
- Advance of agricultural productivity through use of bio-fertiliser from composting of residues from biogas plant fermenter process
- Capacity building / competence advancement in waste management, renewable energy and establishment of public awareness programs (in collaboration with UTG, German universities and Gambian NGOs)
The Lighthouse project concept has been proposed as a reference project within the Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions of the Gambia, and will convince other African countries of this approach and the practical realization thereof.
In October 2010 Project Lighthouse Africa signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Kanifing Municipal Council (KMC), giving PLA the exclusive use of the largest, and only organized waste disposal site in the country. The administrative area of Kanifing represents approx. a third of the Gambia’s 1.8 Mio. population and is also the business centre of the country.
KMC has very limited funding available for waste management, reflected in the very poor vehicle fleet available for waste collection. For the management of the waste disposal site there is a shortage of dozer vehicles, compactors, and purpose-built garbage-collection vehicles. The transport of garbage is part of the municipal waste management using mainly tractor-trailers with tippers. In addition there are privately-owned waste disposal operators using garbage lorries, small trucks and carts.
Project Lighthouse Africa is working closely with Gambian institutions, authorities, and local experts on the planning and realization aspects.
Establishment of a Systematic Waste Flow Data Base
As the first such organization Project Lighthouse Africa has established, in close cooperation with the Waste Management Department of Kanifing Municipal Council, a valid database for the volume and the flow of waste, generated in the KMC area. The database is covering the period October 2010 to now, and provides an analysis of waste flow and waste volumes at the Bakoteh dumpsite on a systematic empirical basis as long-term study. The data acquisition will be continued systematically. The data base follows a permanent review process to enhance the data collection for reducing bias factors.
Vocational Training Centre in New Yundum
Project Lighthouse Gambia is currently constructing and establishing a Vocational Training Centre (VTC) in the West African country the Gambia. The VTC aims to give young people from the surrounding communities the opportunity to gain hands on experience either on practical as well as on theoretical skills in farming and trade. The VTC is located at New Yundum close to the Banjul International Airport.
It consists of a training area for mixed farming concepts and experimental cropping and a workshop area for practical applications. The VTC gives young people the possibility to develop their skills and get a positive direction in their life even if they were inferior to social, financial or other circumstances.
Manufactured work pieces and provided services contribute to the revenue of the VTC and after the build-up and familiarization phase the centre will become financial independent. Through engagement of the community of New Yundum and a continuous readiness of volunteers enabled ProLightGambia to finish the shell of VTC building in a one year period. Reaching completion of the training centre and for entering the operational phase the VTC project still asks for further supporting (financial as well as donations in kind, e.g. sewing-machines, tooling, machinery for divers workshops). In future steps the VTC will become a centre of competence concerning alternative farming and composting techniques, water and environmental management.
Therefore a close cooperation with the organization of Green Dessert e.V. based in Hannover was established in 2011.
If you want to support this or another project, you can donate for it, become a sustaining member or work with us as a sponsor or project promoter. For supporting our VTC project, please visit also our donation webpage on www.betterplace.org. Next to financial support also sponsorships of kind, goods, materials and machinery are highly appreciated. For further information, please feel free to contact us via telephone or email.
Integrated and Sustaining Mill & Farm Development Project in Kenya (project in preparation)
A sustainable and efficient agriculture, quantitative and qualitative increase in production of small and smallest farmer, better access to markets, transport of products from rural areas to the market centers and a crisis resistant supply of the population with staple food: These are the challenges in many African countries with a high socio-economic and socio-political influence. ProLightAfrica and the subsidiary ProLightKenya aim – with an integrated, sustainable and crisis resistant Mill & Farm Development Project – at an important and socially relevant contribution to the infrastructural development of Kenya. The concept is supposed to also act as lighthouse project for other (East) African countries.
With our autarkic mill and integrated farm development master plan we want to afford a crisis resistant supply to the population with stable food (maize flour, casava flour) at a fair price on the one hand. On the other hand with the concept we want to offer an option for a sustainable development of farmers business. The concept is modular structured. According to local factors, different modules can be combined and customised to the situation.
As a first step we want to set up a banana flour production line to assist banana farmers in marketing their products on German and European markets. An emerging market for banana flour is developing in Germany. Particularly banana flour is gluten free, has a high protein content and hence is very intersesting for the food industry. For starting the project we access to midget production of two small local mills (banana flour production is not common in Kenya and therefore this way of marketing bananas is very new for local farmers). In a second step we want to set up our own production line, based on our concept of an autarkic mill.
According to our concept this includes:
- set up and runnning of a banana mill
- affiliated with a biogas CHP for autarkic energy supply
- use of biogas and CHP heat for drying process of bananas
- own truck fleet with off-road trucks, which are able to access to rural farms for transporting the bananas to the mill. (farm-to-market-roads solution)
- Set up of a training centre for local farmers
It is contemplated to set up a first banana flour production in Meru (Mount Kenya) and Busia (border to Uganda), with the option to run a cross-border farm development program between Kenya and Uganda. Perspectively the mill can be extended to a combined maize, banana and casava mill, with capacities for drying and storing maize in large quantities. By development and implementing the maize mill concept we look at the current situation on Kenya’s maize market. A handful major maize mills cartelise the maize and maize flour market within Kenya. Hence they dictate the production conditions, purchase and selling prices. For example non of the eight major maize mills accept wet maize from the farmers, because the mills dont offer an option for maize drying. For this reason a big number of maize farmers are left with their goods if they are not able to get their maize dry. In worst case they have to abandon and to destroy their crops completly (as happened in East Kenya in 2010). Especially at times of crisis the mill cartell is raising maize prices up to vertiginous level, while they secondary benefit from subsidised import maize. And the local maize farmer is left with his maize more than ever.
Through the integrated and autarkic approach we achieve not only a sustainable farm development and a stable food supply for the resident population at times of crisis. But we also keep the option open to offer maize flour at an affordable and fair price, apart the price rally initialised by speculators, carpetbaggers and bargain hunters. This will also improve the image of our project and involved parties.
Editors’ Coaching at Capital FM 98.4
In a two day editors‘coaching, in June 2009, Matthias Duchscherer consulted editors and reporters of Capital FM in Nairobi. The radio station is one of the biggest and most successful radio stations in Kenya. Focus of the coaching was to elaborate suggestions for improvement for the editorial and quality management of the radio station.
The president of ProLightAfrica has extensive experience in journalism training a.o. through his longstanding occupation as head and trainer of the journalism seminar at the Institute of Media and Communication Science at Ilmenau University of Technology as well as through consulting and supporting the main editorial office of medienbewusst.de, an online initiative for the furtherance of media competence of children.
Research: Relevance of mobile communication and internet at domestic crisis
What is the role of the media in Eastern Africa at domestic crisis? What chances do net-based social media offer for a more participative, civil-social dialogue?
In an explorative field study (Dec 2007 – Apr 2008), Matthias Duchscherer dealt with the relevance of mobile communication and internet at domestic crisis using the example of the post-election-crisis in Kenya. Methodical basis of the study was the participating observance and qualitative in-depth interviews a.o. with bloggers, journalists, connoisseurs of the political scene and recipients of hate-sms.
Results of the study were presented by Matthias Duchscherer at University of Nairobi and the German-East African Media Dialogue in Nairobi in May 2009. The conference, at which journalists and scientists of Germany and East Africa participated in, was organized by the Institute for International Cultural Relations (ifa). Further information can be found on the website of the International Research Group on Crisis Communication (IRGoCC) under the column of research projects.