Friday, November 21, 2014

To cut climate emissions and pollution, Ethiopia harnesses sewage

(Nov 21, 2014, (ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (Thomson Reuters Foundation)))--Sewage in Ethiopia’s capital could soon be turned into cylinders of compressed biogas as part of an effort to clean up the city, cut climate-changing emissions and find new sources of clean energy.

Currently the Addis Ababa Water and Sewage Authority (AAWSA) estimates that it collects and treats only 12 percent of the city’s liquid waste. But a new effort to trap sewage and use bio-digesters to turn it into biogas and fertiliser could help lower energy costs, reduce methane emissions from sludge and cut spills, its backers say.

The $18 million project is a joint effort of the city’s water and sewage authority, a non-governmental environmental monitoring firm and 4R Energy, an Ethiopian firm that focuses on recycling and reusing municipal waste for renewable energy. Benjamin G. Sishuh, 4R Energy’s project manager, said he sees the effort as a way of scaling up small-scale biogas projects that have proliferated in Africa and elsewhere.

“I saw that biogas use in rural or urban area was very small, so I came up with a plan for biogas development that can be used by the majority of the population (and) which can be affordable” said Sishuh. He said his company wants to put the project into effect at two large waste dumps in the city. Read more from Thomson Reuters Foundation »

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