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BUJUMBURA, Burundi, (PAMACC News) - Pour faire face à la déforestation abusive, des initiatives privées voient le jour pour sauver l’arbre. C’est le cas de l’entreprise privée Burundi Quality Stoves (B.Q.S) qui fabrique, à base des déchets agro-pastoraux, des briquettes utilisées pour la cuisson. Les parches de café, les balles de riz, les copeaux de bois, les déchets de coton, la bouse de vache, … sont désormais valorisés. « Leur mixage donne des briquettes avec une valeur calorifique très élevée par rapport aux charbons ou bois de chauffage », décrit Dénis Ntibandetse, Chef du personnel au B.Q.S. Cette valeur se situe entre 3900 et 4000 kilocalories (kcal) tandis qu’elle varie entre 3000 et 3800 kcals pour le charbon. Et de définir : « La calorie est l’unité d’énergie nécessaire pour élever la température d’un gramme d’eau de 1°C ».L’idée de la création de cette entreprise ayant été importée d’Asie. Et ce, motive-t-il, dans le but de protéger l’environnement, créer l’emploi et permettre aux ménages de faire des économies.La fabrication suit tout un processus : « Après la collecte, il faut une période de séchage au soleil car certains déchets comme la bouse de vache ont un taux d’humidité assez élevé ».Vient ensuite l’étape du mélange, selon la disponibilité des matières premières. « La part de la parche du café est toujours supérieure avec un taux de 40% par rapport aux autres matières parce qu’elle a un pouvoir calorifique plus élevé. »Pour avoir 900kg de briquettes, il leur faut une tonne de matières premières. Le Chef du personnel à l’entreprise B.Q.S fait savoir qu’il est impossible d’avoir une briquette avec une seule catégorie de déchets. « Elle ne serait pas consistante. »Les matières premières sont abondantes et à bon marché. Selon lui, 1 kg de parche de café étant acheté à 40 BIF (0,02$) par kg, celui des balles du riz à 100 BIF (0,05$) par kg tandis qu’une benne de la bouse de vache 50.000 BIF (28,34$). « Et le produit final est vendu à 350BIF (0,19$) le kg ». Un sac de charbon de 50 kg étant vendu actuellement à 29.000BIF (16,43$).Les usagers sont satisfies « A un ménage ou une école par exemple, elles permettent de diminuer 4 fois les dépenses mensuelles », affirme M.Ntibandetse. Soit 1.500BIF (0,8$) de thésaurisation par jour pour un ménage dépensant 2.000BIF (1,1$) par jour en charbon. Le temps de la cuisson est également réduit. Il est respectivement estimé à 10 minutes pour l’eau bouillante de la pâte à farine de manioc ou de maïs, 30 minutes pour le riz et une heure et demi pour les haricots. M. Ntibandetse décrit ces briquettes comme des biocombustibles très peu polluants et avec un taux de cendres très abattu. « 2 à 5% contre 15% pour le charbon ». Leur disponibilité quelle que soit la saison est également la spécialité de ces briquettes.Les usagers ne disent pas le contraire. « C’est vraiment un meilleur combustible », témoigne Dieudonné Manampa, directeur de l’Ecole d’Excellence de Matana,…
NJORO, Kenya (PAMACC News) - Five African early career research scientists took to stage at the 41st Water Engineering and Development Centre (WEDC)’s International Conference at the Egerton University in Kenya to showcase ongoing research achievements so far under a project to unlock the potential of groundwater for the poor. Drawn from Kenya, Uganda, Malawi and Ethiopia, the young researchers discussed some of the complex social science, physical science and practical issues given their experience in two research areas namely Gro for GooD, through which scientists are developing a ground water risk management in Kenya, and the Hidden Crisis, which is unravelling current failures for future success in rural groundwater supply.“Am not shy to say that it is my first time to participate in a research of this magnitude,” said Willy Sasaka, Assistant Hydrogeologist from the Rural Focus Company, which is coordinating the Gro4GooD research in Kenya.Guided by scientists from the University of Nairobi, Oxford University, the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, and the University of Barcelona, the research project has led to discovery of two paleochannels in Kenya’s Kwale County, which is the main source of groundwater that drives the tourism industry along Diani beach, serves residents of Ukunda, and supports a large scale irrigated sugarcane farming initiative in Kwale among others.Sasaka made his presentation alongside his colleague, Suleiman Mwakuria, who explained how the scientists have been able to involve the local community in the research, including students who help in reading rain gauges among other things.Patrick Makuluni, a geologist from Malawi talked about functionality and failures of boreholes in his country, showcasing slides to show how scientists have been able to identify reasons why boreholes fail soon after they have been sunk.“Millions of pounds of investment by water users, charities and tax-payers are wasted each year by water points failing soon after construction,” he told delegates at an event organised by the Rural Water Supply Network (RWSN) on the sidelines of the WEDC conference. “Getting a more complete understanding of how to keep water flowing from boreholes will reduce waste and improve water services for Africa’s poorest communities,” said Makuluni.So far, the Malawi study, through which the scientists dismantled 50 functioning and dead boreholes to examine the underlying causes of failure, has already come up with preliminary findings.“We found out that one of the causes of borehole failure was vandalism,” said Makuluni. Other boreholes were abandoned due to poor water quality, some due to poor maintenance; others were silted, while in some cases there were governance problems.However, the young scientist noted that the researchers are yet to do data analysis, compile results, make reports and disseminate the findings.Yehualaeshet Tadesse, young female scientists from Ethiopia presented a similar case, but focusing on social causes for poorly functioning water pumps in her country. In Ethiopia, 170 water pumps in nine districts were surveyed in the first phase of the research project, where it was found that lack of village level operation and maintenance skilled manpower was one of…
KISUMU, Kenya (PAMACC News) - Maurince Otieno has been a fisherman for over 15 years. He inherited this outstanding skill of fishing from his late grandfather George Omollo Otieno who was a renowned fisherman in his time.For the past several months, Otieno who does his fishing along the shores of Dunga beach in Lake Victoria has been experiencing difficulties in his fishing expedition despite his bloodline skills.Otieno, currently in his late 40s says he no longer harvests sufficient fish to meet the needs of his immediate and extended family that depends on him.This has made him a very scared man. He is afraid of what the future holds for him and his family as his only source of income continues to diminish very fast.“We are doomed. I don’t know how I will support my family now that I hardly have any catch. I am a worried man,” he says as we set out for a fish expedition along the shores of Lake Victoria in Dunga beach.Ever since the passing on of his father more than 10 years ago, Otieno notes he has been eking out a living out of the turbulence waters of Lake Victoria. He observes that his father and grandfathers, were all fishermen and they passed the skills of fishing on to their siblings.But Otieno notes that the tradition that has always been passed down from one generation to another was bound to come to an end in his life time as fishing spots continue to diminish along the shores of Lake Victoria. “I am certain that my generation will have nothing to pass down to coming generation as it has been our norm and tradition,” stresses Otieno in a low tone with a sense of disappointment.He notes that his family has been forced to find alternative ways to make a living besides fishing which has been their bloodline.“I don’t know what is happening to our God given lake, we hardly catch any fish,” narrates Otieno as he jumps into his dilapidated boat.“You see all these,” he says as he hands me a life jacket and shows me a fleet of abandon boats that were on the verge of rotting, “the owners abandon them here due to declining fish in the lake.”With disillusionment evident in his hoarse voice, he engages the forward gear to his boat and the engine roars as we begin to drift and gain momentum as the boat accelerates.I engage a handful of fishermen that we find and their sentiments were similar.After three hours of fishing with no success, we docked the boat at the shores of Dunga beach. It was at this beach that I was lucky to bump into a researcher and scientist who according to Otieno has been doing “serious research “of the lake.Dickson Wallace, the scientist and researcher says she has been conducting research on the lake for over three years.Wallance notes that the lake was adversely being impacted negatively by the climate change that is common with extreme weather patterns…
CAPE TOWN, South Africa (PAMACC News) - The Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN) has been re-launched in South Africa, with Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and the Royal Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs investing some US$ 9.2 million.“My hope for the new CDKN is that the impacts will be felt mainly by vulnerable groups that are most impacted by climate change.” said Dr Shehnaaz Moosa, director of the new Dutch-Canadian supported CDKN, which was formally launched by Pamela Moore, Chargé d’Affaires of the High Commission of Canada to South Africa, and Henk Ovink, Special Envoy for International Water Affairs for the Kingdom of the Netherlands on 21 June. The launch, which brought together partners new and old, included reflections on the first phase of the programme by former director Sam Bickersteth and highlighted the shift in focus for programme in its new form. “It’s a really exciting moment to see CDKN move into a new phase which will build on the legacy of eight years of work, and to see it being led from the region to which it is delivering,” said Bickersteth, adding that Shehnaaz Moosa had been a “very steady hand on so much that CDKN has already done,” and an obvious choice to take the programme forward. CDKN will now focus on providing developing countries with enhanced knowledge resources to support ambitious climate action, as well as boost climate leadership and learning on climate compatible development. The network’s global and Africa programme is now led from South Africa, with Latin America and Asia regional hubs managed from Ecuador and India. Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and the Royal Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs will fund CDKN’s new chapter to the value of 9.2 million US$ (12 million Canadian dollars), and it will run from 2018-2021. Speaking at the launch event in Cape Town, the Special Envoy said: “The Dutch development policy for the first time focuses on the interconnectedness of climate change and root causes of poverty, political instability, conflict and migration. The knowledge and experience of CDKN to support complex policy realities, to work in partnership with governmental and non-governmental stakeholders, and to connect human development ambitions and environmental sustainability is a very valuable asset in this strategy.” Ms Pamela Moore said: “Climate change is a shared global challenge and Canada is committed to working together with partners around the world on climate action. Canada is pleased that a refreshed Climate and Development Knowledge Network is being launched. We are excited to be part of this global partnership for large-scale change that enables vulnerable communities adapt to climate change, mitigate its impacts, and transition to a low-carbon economy.” CDKN will work to enrich decision-makers’ know-how and help them to accelerate climate action. “The challenge now for us is to navigate the great amount of climate information and find what’s most useful, adapt it and tailor it for developing countries’ needs,” said Dr Moosa. “Climate-vulnerable countries are eager to access and apply knowledge about…
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