Tuesday, October 4

Bensouda launches D6M biodegradable waste management project

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The project is entitled: “Building Climate Resilience through Sustainable Biodegradable Waste Management in Kanifing Municipality.”

Mayor Bensouda said KMC is partnering with Waste Aid UK and Women’s Initiative Gambia to implement the one-year project valued at 6 million dalasis. The KMC mayor made these remarks at Abuko Market.

He said the objectives of the project are to reduce the amount of biodegradable waste at the Bakoteh dumpsite and also to help women gardeners to transform this organic waste into productive materials like compost and bio-briquettes.

Bensouda added that the project would support women vendors selling in public markets to divert their organic waste and transform them into valuable products to improve the productivity and yields of women growing fruits and vegetables in community gardens.

“All residents of Kanifing rely upon these gardens to provide essential nutrients in our diets to live healthy lives,” Mayor Bensouda said.

He revealed that by using the biodegradable waste from public markets to create compost and bio-briquettes, it would reduce the country’s dependence on chemical fertilisers and charcoal to meet nutrient enhancement, requirements of women’s gardens and provide an alternative to the unsustainable use of forests for charcoal.

He said it is important to note the role the project plays in testing a few innovative concepts to help the council better manage the 18 hectare dumpsite at Bakoteh.

“By diverting organic waste – that generates methane and odours – from the dumpsite, we are mitigating the challenges faced at the final point of disposal,” Talib said.

Bensouda reassures their partners that the council is fully committed to realising this project and ensuring its sustainability.

Ingrid Henrys, project coordinator for Waste Aid said the project is to help and equip the women gardeners with the skills and knowledge to transform the waste collected into organic manure and other important components.

She added that the project would help to mitigate climate change in the country as women would be trained to be producing biodegradable materials.

“I hope that the project will be furthered into other areas,” she said. She tasked the women to be committed to the project so it can be extended to other parts as it is the first to be implemented.

Isatou Ceesay, director of Women Initiative The Gambia, said the project focuses on training women gardeners to make products out of the waste they collected.

She said that the project would be in two segments; to educate women gardeners on the effects of climate change and also to give them information about the negative effects of using chemicals in their vegetables.

She added the project targets two main areas; to train women gardeners on how to make compost organic manure for their vegetables and to train them on how to make bio-briquettes and charcoal amongst others through groundnut and coconut shells.