Explain your project in details:
To increase biogas use in Kibera slum (Nairobi - Kenya), by recovering and upgrading the existing biogas centres. These infrastructures supply affordable and clean energy to the population, but also improve life quality in the slum, hosting toilets and bathrooms. The aim is to entrust the management to local cooperatives, providing equally-distributed income, after giving them background abilities to run the business. Inclusion of women will be guaranteed to help most endangered social groups inside the slum. Know-how transfer will give people the opportunity to improve their skills . Environmental knowledge will be transferred to fight skepticism towards biogas use, considered "dirty" as coming from human wastes. We believe that managing to involve local communities will be the key to help more other people abandon this prejudice. Biogas will be safely stored in the centre and transferred by puxin bags to be used for lighting or cooking. Those bags will be provided to the population to make it easier for people to switch to biogas. Biogas centres, as seen from previous cases, also boost the rising of other economic activities in the same area. Biogas centres will also be important in the longer-term perspective of building a pipeline infrastructure.
Impact of your enterprise on sustainable development
The two main objectives are to support the economy of the slum of Kibera and to upgrade the technology used to provide energy, switching from fossil fuels to biogas, a clean and renewable source. Other goals are to increase accessibility to sanitation facilities in one of the poorest areas of the world, and know-how transfer to enable communities to manage biogas centres.
Sustainability and future plans
A start-up investment will be provided by SIT organization, which will also take charge of the maintenance, but the project has the potential to rely on itself for gaining economic Independence in a relatively short-time horizon. Income will come from two main economic sources: 1. Charges for the use of toilets and bathrooms of the biogas centres; 2. Selling of fertilizers, which are by-products in biodigestors. A shareholding scheme will be used to involve inhabitants in the management of the centres, to increase their interest in biogas centre. Future development will be the construction of a pipeline that will efficiently provide biogas to inhabitants directly in their houses for domestic uses. Also improving the burners used in the houses, to reduce bad smell of non perfect combustion, is taken into consideration.
Your profile as an entrepreneur
I'm a Environmental Engineering student, in Milano (Italy). I'm 23 and I've always been interested in social themes. Last year I had the opportunity to spend a month in Kenya, volunteering in a rehab for street children. I visited some of Nairobi's biggest slums, and was impressed by life conditions there. So it was easy for me to apply when SIT asked for volunteers for this project. I have visited the slum this project is focusing on, Kibera, and I'm sure that BIOGAS4LIFE can help local communities development. I really look forward to help make BIOGAS4LIFE a winning project.