Urban and rural waste is a major problem in the developing world, particularly in countries with failed governments and inadequate waste management infrastructure. In developing countries, about 50% of waste is not collected and remains scattered around poor areas causing health problems, land degradation, pollution, and water resource contamination. One way for managing this problem is to convert organic waste into fertilizers for agricultural use.
The Kouikoro Region in West Africa Mali faces waste management and food shortage problems. Our seeker, Centre Evangélique de Conseil et d’Orientation Zorobabel, is initiating an agricultural and irrigation project in order to provide the people with increased food security and as a means for generating revenue. The Mali Organic Waste project aims to strengthen the development of a viable system of processing, distributing and marketing organic waste material for agricultural application.
The project will be situated in Kangaba Cercle, an administrative subdivision of the Kouikoro Region of Mali, West Africa. The district has about 83,751 people but the immediate beneficiaries of the project will be approximately 7,805 people. The project site is bordered by the Republic of Guinea. Thus, there is also a potential to help the neighboring communities.
Nature of the Problem
The Mali Government does not have enough means to cover the needs of the people who are starving. High food prices further influence the people to eat fewer and less healthy meals. In addition, chemical fertilizers for growing food are expensive for the local people as well as environmentally non-friendly and inadequate waste management systems further threatens human livelihood. To tackle some of these challenges, the seeker is aiming to develop a 100 Ha property for producing crops such as rice, banana, potato and onions that will be sustained with irrigation and organically produced fertilizers. The aim is to produce crops during rainy and dry season when the weather is cold. The site project is located about 200 metres from the Niger River. The project has the following objectives:
(1) Strengthening the development of a viable system of processing, distribution and marketing of organic waste material for application in agriculture.
(2) Strengthening the development of a sustainable agricultural sector.
(3) Development of effective linkages between agricultural and urban waste management sectors.
(4) Formulation of development scenarios and policy recommendations and dissemination of results.
Nature of Opportunity
A solution to this problem can directly benefit approximately 7,805 people in Mali. First, people will have access to locally produced food at lower prices. Second, the project will generate job opportunities and lower unemployment rate in the country. Third, the project will create a community enterprise that will help build social peace, solidarity and unity in villages in order to improve education, health and cultural issues within the country. Finally, the application of organic fertilizers to food will be better for the environment than chemical fertilizers.
Relevant Scientific Participation
Science for Humanity is currently searching for researchers with both scientific knowledge and field experience in food and agriculture, waste management, ecology, environmental sustainability and social sciences to join this challenge. Join the Mali Organic Waste project if you would like to get involved and please feel free to contact Anu Devi at firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.