Dr. Constantine Katongole from the Centre presents his research focused on the possibility of using sweet potato vines and scarlet eggplant waste as goat feed.
Waste management research for a green future in Uganda
Sida supports the establishment of the first Centre of Excellence in Waste Management in Uganda. The Centre will use locally produced knowledge to contribute to sustainable development and green growth in Uganda.
Waste accumulation in urban areas is a large environmental issue and creates socioeconomic, health and pollution problems. A majority of the waste is uncollected and is normally burnt or dumped in unauthorized sites.
Realizing the importance of waste management, the Centre was formed at Makerere University with the main objective of utilizing bio waste through innovative research and technology development. By using methods in bacteria, nutrition recycling and bio-energy generation organic waste can be turned into biogas, animal feed and soil replenishment.
The Centre builds on 15 years of research in utilization of domestic organic waste and sustainable agricultural production systems through waste management among others.
Markets in Kampala generate tons of organic waste
The ten biggest markets in Kampala city generate 1,800 tons of waste every month, where organic waste from crops constitutes 87 per cent of the total amount. The research team found that the Kampala Capital City Authority would save 19 million shillings (5 300 USD) monthly if the waste was separated, composted and reused.
The organic fraction of domestic waste can also provide an opportunity to improve livelihoods ad incomes through fertilizer and energy production. This has also resulted in a growing market for crop waste, where vendors are selling the waste to increase their income.
The research team is led by Professor Elly Sabiiti who has been working towards forming the Centre since 2007. Dr. Constantin Katongole will assist Professor Sabiiti in directing the Centre. He is one of eight PhD students trained through a collaboration between Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) and the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.
Centre is engaging with farmers
The Centre is already engaging with local farming groups, focusing on women and youth, in order to teach them how to work with soil, feed and biogas. The Centre also seeks to work with local authorities to pilot biogas technologies to reduce firewood usage, in turn decreasing deforestation. By involving policy makers and other stakeholders they hope that research information will inform future policies on organic waste management.
"The next step is to design special trainings for local leaders, members of Parliament and the Kampala Capital City Authority, initiate collaborations for research and research extension, as well as engaging with the media to sensitize the public on how to sort garbage", Dr. Katongole explains.