In the Capital of Uganda, Kampala, A significant amount of organic waste such as food waste, animal manure, and plant residue are discarded. According to the Kampala Capital City Authority, 48,000 tons of organic waste are generated monthly. 60% of those wastes are improperly disposed of along roadsides or rivers. This amount is equivalent to the weight of 3,600 public transport buses. The situation is particularly severe in the slum areas of Kampala, where the lack of proper organic waste management systems exacerbates the problem.
Isaac, a young man from Uganda who grew up in a slum, resided with his family in a cramped rented room. The 60 residents shared a communal toilet facility. However, the landlord would lock the toilet at night to save on the cost of sewage treatment. So, the residents would gather their organic waste in one place and dispose of it in the nearby river the following morning. They also frequently discarded leftover food on the streets. This accumulation of organic waste emitted a persistent foul smell and attracted pests, while children playing near the river suffered from waterborne illnesses like diarrhea and typhoid. However, there is an undisclosed truth behind the detrimental impact of organic waste on the environment and people's well-being.
After recognizing the significance of organic waste and its ability to be transformed into valuable agricultural fertilizers, Isaac devised a plan to assist the underprivileged inhabitants of the slum while simultaneously tackling environmental concerns. His concept involved gathering organic waste from the slum and converting it into compost, which could be further processed into agricultural fertilizers and animal feed. By implementing this strategy, he aimed to create employment opportunities for the impoverished residents and provide accessible and inexpensive fertilizers and feed to smallholder farmers and livestock owners who frequently faced shortages of these essential resources.
Obtaining stable compost was a challenging and arduous journey for Isaac because he had no prior knowledge or experience in organic waste fermentation. He relied on online research and visited organic waste treatment facilities to learn about the subject. In order to obtain stable compost, it was crucial to eliminate toxic substances and harmful microorganisms through the fermentation process. Isaac conducted numerous experiments, adjusting variables such as temperature, humidity, and pH levels in search of the optimal fermentation conditions. After many failures, Isaac finally succeeded in obtaining stable compost from organic waste, and he started a self-reliant project, Sanitation Empowerment & Agricultural Support (SEAS).
SEAS educates and sells compost bins in slums, turning organic waste into valuable compost. These compost bins, containing sawdust to prevent odor, absorb moisture, and facilitate the conversion of organic waste into compost. So far, 80 households in the slums have been producing their own compost and selling it to SEAS. Slum dwellers are taking responsibility for their families' livelihoods while also cleaning up the slum environment. SEAS uses a special process to turn compost purchased from slums into agricultural fertilizers and livestock feed.
The secret of the very process is Black Solider Fly(BSF). It is a fly insect that decomposes organic waste and is also used as a raw material for feed. BSF larvae eat and break down compost with a voracious appetite and powerful digestive enzymes. The excreted soil from this process is used as agricultural fertilizer. Additionally, the larvae and pupae of the protein-rich black soldier fly is of great value as feed for poultry and farmed fish. SEAS is relieving the economic burden of smallholder and livestock farmers who suffer losses from not being able to obtain fertilizer or feed at high prices.
The goal of SEAS is to collect organic waste from 1,500 households in the slums and sell environmentally friendly composting bins that help protect the environment. They also aim to provide affordable fertilizers to over 20,000 smallholder farmers in Uganda. To achieve this, SEAS plans to purchase materials for an awareness campaign that educates slum dwellers about the importance of organic waste recycling through impact donation. They also intend to conduct training sessions on converting organic waste into compost for around 250 individuals from the slums, showcasing the transformative impact of their initiatives.
"In the slums of Uganda, where people worry about whether they will be able to eat tomorrow, many people still live in poor hygiene conditions. SEAS will not give up to help them protect their families and the environment!"
Please join us to make Ugandan people in slums become self-reliant and live in an environment that can protect minimum human rights!