Please find below the
This project presents a clear and feasible plan to convert urban organic waste to compost for use by regional farmers. It focuses on three large cities, Addis Ababa, Kampala, and Nairobi. The proposal creator is clearly very knowledgeble about the topic and has an understanding of the adminstrative impediments to effectively managing municiple waste. The list of these impediments and people/agencies that would need to be involved is very long. The presentation of the idea would be improved by a more systematic plan to identify and work with specific entities with the power to move the project forward. If judging was strictly about whether the proposal is a good idea that should be implemented, then this one would deserve high marks. Unfortunately, a major part of the scoring is based on paradigm-shifting novelty. So, an excellent plan based on using established methods does not rank as high as perhaps it should.
Whilst the proposal is appealing and addresses a key need, it is rather too limited in scope for this contest.
The proposal to convert UOSW into compost is an appealing one and meets several SDGs as well as reducing landfills, reducing emissions, etc. Two key aspects, however, are missing: (1) how does compost from UOSW compare to other composts in term of cost and increase in crop productivity (i.e what would compel farmers, especially poor, rural farmers to purchase this product?) and what evidence is there for this? (2) How would the carbon emissions of the conversion and transport of the compost be mitigated in order not to create a 'net negative' energy gain?
This proposal could also benefit from looking at the broader picture (i.e. how to integrate action in various sectors, to generate maximum benefits across multiple SDGs).
Thanks, however the proposal focuses on tackling one single issue (waste), which then generates benefits across several SDGs. However this is not the main objective of this contest - participants should aim higher, zoom out of the specific issue(s) and look at the broader picture , i.e. how to integrate action in various sectors, to generate maximum benefits across multiple SDGs.
The proposal of converting UOSW into compost is an appealing one and meets several SDGs as well as reducing landfills,reducing emissions, etc. Two key aspects however are missing. 1 how does compost from UOSW compare to other composts in term sf cost and increase in crop productivity i.e what would compel farmers, especially poor, rural farmers to purchase this product? What evidence is there for this? 2. How would the carbon emissions of the conversion and transport of the compost be mitigated in order not to create a 'net negative' energy gain?
Wassie Haile Woldeyohannes
Jan 26, 2018
I am more than happy to hear that my proposal has been selected as one of finalist proposal. I will like to kindly inform you that I will shape my proposal as per the judges comment before the end of closing date, please.
With Kind Regards
Wassie Haile Woldeyohannes
Jan 31, 2018
This is to make a follow up message that I have shaped my proposal as per the comments and questions raised by the judges on the proposal page of the contest. But as the page limits characters, I was unable to make sufficient explanations on the issues raised by judges. Thus, I decided to make further explanations on the issues here as follows:
Question 1. how does compost from UOSW compare to other composts in term of cost and increase in crop productivity (i.e what would compel farmers, especially poor, rural farmers to purchase this product?) and what evidence is there for this? ( Very challenging question)
I don’t have direct evidence comparing profitability and crop yield increasing effects of compost from UOSWs to other composts in rural areas. The reason is that so far in Ethiopia and in most African countries, there are limited practices of compost production and selling business in rural areas. Since few years back, efforts are being made by ministry of agriculture in Ethiopia to enable and push famers in rural areas to produce compost locally and use it along with inorganic fertilizers. Despite some progress, shortage of biomasses for compost production coupled with low skill of rural farmers on techniques of compost preparation, high labor demand etc are limiting the preparation and use of compost in rural areas. Thus, I couldn’t make direct comparison of compost of from UOWs with other compost to justify that market will be available to compost from UOWs in rural areas.
However, I have other evidences proving that there will be markets (factors that will compel rural farmers’ especially poor farmers to purchase compost out of UOSWs) for compost in rural areas in Ethiopia and in most African countries. These include:
Additional potential markets for compost from UOSWs
Ministry of agriculture is one of the potential markets for compost from UOSWs. This is because every year the ministry prepares millions of tons of compost by itself use it as potting material in nursery seed beds for raising forest tree seedlings, coffee seedlings etc. Thus, if it stops producing compost by itself and divert the money for purchasing compost from UOSWs, it will be a big market for compost from UOSWs. As one of the key actor of this project, it will accept this arrangement. The growing private floriculture, urban agriculture and horticulture industries in Ethiopia can also be markets for compost from UOSWs. Especially, they can serve as transitional markets for compost from UOSWs until rural famers fully adopt compost from UOSWs and become sustainable customers to it, which may take 3-5 years.
Wassie Haile Woldeyohannes
Jan 31, 2018
Question 2. How would the carbon emissions of the conversion and transport of the compost be mitigated in order not to create a 'net negative' energy gain?
Regarding, the issue of carbon emission from converting UOSWs to compost (aerobic composting), I have indicated the advantage of composting with regards to GHG emission reduction as compared to emissions from landfill sites in my proposal page. But to further elaborate it here, research finding from Vientiane, Lao PDR, compares urban solid waste management under different scenarios and clearly shown that composting of unsorted urban solid wastes resulted in reduction of GHG by 41 % compared to landfill scenario. But solid waste separation followed by composting of organic fractions of the waste resulted in reduction of GHG emission by 47 % over that emitted from landfills (Babel and Vilaysouk, 2016). Thus, the results present strong evidences that GHG emission reduction due to composting of urban solid wastes was higher than emissions from un-composted solid wastes and emissions that occurs during composting process. By the way, CO2 emissions in composting derived from the organic matter biodegradation are not taken into account in their contribution to global warming since this carbon has a biogenic origin (Sánchez et al., 2015). But only methane and nitrous oxides which are released during composting of biosolides are considered to be GHGs. The emissions of these GHGs during composting can be minimized by controlling C/N ratio and moisture content of municipal solid wastes or other biosolids (Feedstock); and by controlling factors such oxygen supply, temperature and moisture during composting process. These days there are technologies that enable to control these factors that will minimize GHGs emissions during composting (Sánchez et al., 2015).
Moreover, applications of compost into soils increase the C sequestration ability of soils (Biala, 2011). Compost increase the soil organic matter content and then improves the soil physicochemical properties and serve as a source of nutrients to crops. Thus, its soil application increases the growth and productivity of crops; and trees which in turn leads to increased C sequestration. According to Biala (2011), annual application of mature biowaste compost at 10 t DM ha-1 yr-1 increases soil C by 0.97 t ha-1 yr-1. Details about contributions of composts (made from different feedstock) applications to carbon sequestration in soils are found in manuscript by the same author
(www.environment.nsw.gov.au). Compost application to soil also enables to decrease the amount of fertilizer applied per unit area of land implying reduction of GHG emissions associated with its production and application (Sánchez et al., 2015).
Thus evidences above and based on several similar research evidences found elsewhere, it is concluded that production of compost from UOSWs, in addition to economic, social and health benefits, it contributes to mitigation of climate change through reduction of GHG emissions and increasing C sequestration in soils.