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Nigerian project wins top award

first_imgCows to Kilowatts takes abattoir waste and converts it into a low-cost renewable energy source. (Image: stock.xchng) An innovative Nigerian project that processes abattoir water and converts the collected organic waste into fertiliser and methane, has won the 2009 Intel Environment prize at the annual Tech Awards in the US.The Tech Awards, held this year in San Jose, California, in November, honoured creativity and inventiveness across a range of fields, including the environment, education, science, health and more.The project, titled Cows to Kilowatts, was founded by civil engineer Dr Joseph Adelgan. In developing countries especially, abattoir waste is a major source of water pollution and greenhouse gas production. Through the processing of organic waste, the project helps mitigate one of the biggest threats to the future of the planet, as well as promote the use and benefits of renewable energy.Adelgan is the founder of the Global Network for Environment and Economic Development Research (Gneeder), an NGO that that works in poor urban communities to improve quality of life, reduce air pollution and create cheap sources of domestic energy.The organisation is currently working on another power-generating project for impoverished West Africans, using cassava factory waste.Projects are based in Nigeria and Ghana at the moment, but there are plans to roll them out in other sub-Saharan countries.Keeping water cleanIn Nigeria regulation of abattoir waste is lax, and there are few facilities for water treatment. In Ibadan, the country’s second biggest city, waste from the Bodija Municipal Abattoir used to run out into open drains. These are connected to surface water sources, which resulted in severe contamination of groundwater with pathogens such as salmonella, Escherichia coli, and the deadly Rift Valley fever virus.The waste water from this abattoir has an extremely high biochemical oxygen demand, which is an indicator of organic pollution. Communities living in the area had no choice but to use the contaminated water, so the situation was desperate.“People were drinking from shallow wells,” said Adelgan in an interview, “and people in the neighbourhood were getting sick. They didn’t understand why they were getting sick.”Cows to Kilowatts started off as a collaborative project between Gneeder, the Centre for Youth, Family and the Law, and the Sustainable Ibadan project. The initial goal was merely to treat the abattoir waste in an effluent plant, rendering it less harmful to communities and the environment and preventing groundwater pollution.However, the team soon came across a related problem – the decomposing organic waste that was releasing carbon dioxide and methane into the atmosphere. Both are greenhouse gases, but methane is 23 times more lethal in bringing about climate change than carbon dioxide.A new strategy using biogas technology was introduced. Applicable on both large and small scales, the process uses reactors to digest organic waste and convert it into low-cost energy.The three founding organisations joined up with scientists at the Biogas Technology Research Centre at Thailand’s King Mongkut University of Technology Thonburi, and with funding from the UN Development Programme in Nigeria, they designed and built a pilot biogas plant in Ibadan. This uses an anaerobic fixed film digester to break down the waste. The resulting sludge is turned into high-quality organic fertiliser, and methane and carbon dioxide are collected before they can dissipate into the atmosphere and cause harm.The plant supplies around 5 400 cylinders of biogas per month, which is used for cooking, electricity generation, and to power vehicles – at just 25% of the cost of liquefied natural gas. Furthermore, the organic fertiliser is sold to farmers at a fraction of the cost of chemical fertiliser.Poor families often have to rely on kerosene, paraffin and wood for heating, cooking and light, which pollute the air in the home. By using biogas they not only improve their living conditions, but also help curb deforestation, as the demand for wood drops.Honouring innovationEstablished in 2001, the Tech Awards came about as a result of the State of the Future report, a publication of the Millennium Project of the American Council of the United Nations University. The report stated that acknowledgement of innovation through awards is a valuable tool for stimulating scientific and technological breakthroughs to improve people’s quality of life.The Tech Awards programme pays tribute to technology that enables people to live a better life. It honours 15 enterprising projects in five categories: health, education, equality, the environment, and economic development. There are three winners in each category, and the top five laureates walk away with US$50 000 (R378 717) each.Laureates are then inducted into the Tech Awards Network, which provides opportunities for learning, networking and collaboration.last_img read more

Infographic: African alliances help boost regional prosperity

first_imgRegional alliances of African countries have one goal in common: to increase economic cohesion and so improve the lives of citizens, as sovereign nations align their priorities to achieve a wider prosperity. Graphic: Mzwandile MakgobaResearch: Priya PitamberClick image for a larger view.Sources: Comesa, SADC, Ecowas, Eccas, CEN-SADlast_img

Test Your Green Readiness — Part 1

first_imgGoing green is a business decision, and it is no small undertaking. Going green has to have a purpose. You do not want to go green just because everyone else is doing it. You need to be able to quantify its benefits for your business, your personal life, and your community.Going green has to make business sense for you and your home building business. It should reflect what your company is passionate about and how you want to position it in the marketplace to ensure its future success. In this manner, you will earn the respect and trust of the public, customers, prospects, and industry peers as a company that is genuine in its pursuit of helping people, the community, and the planet. Genuine purpose will avoid accusations of “greenwashing,” in which a company claims to be green for marketing purposes only.Consumer demand is the main driver for green construction. Although green building is currently strictly voluntary, those who seize the opportunities today will be the success stories we’ll read about tomorrow.Following is a list of tips to going green.1. Define your business purposeThis is vital. Your message needs to be clear to the market you currently serve or are trying to reach. Going green is not simply updating your logo and adding a few energy-efficient features to the homes you build: It reflects your commitment and contribution to making the world a better place while still making a profit. Whatever you are passionate about will automatically manifest itself in your speech and deeds. You want to be sure you do something because it is in your heart to do it, and it makes business sense for your company. Otherwise, displeasure and discontent could cause unnecessary stress; in more extreme situations, it could even damage your reputation as a company.2. Organize your worldOrder reflects a person’s quality of life both personally and professionally. Create a list of your company’s priorities and business goals. As you study the different local and national green building programs, look for those that best align with your business and personal goals. Share your findings and thoughts with your business partners and team members for feedback. Study what others are doing and what seems to be working for them. You could even contact successful builders that are outside your area and ask them about how the green building business is working for them. You may be surprised at how much information others are willing to share if you’re only willing to ask!Want to increase your productivity? Declutter your workspace and update your office environment with things that excite you. Want to destress? Schedule your personal time. We business owners tend to work our tails off and give priority to everything and everyone else but ourselves! I love what Heather Diodati recommends in her article “12 Easy Ways to Organize Your Life”: “Schedule Fun Time! Make sure that you include some personal time for you. Make an appointment for yourself, and keep it, even if it’s only a leisurely 20-minute bubble bath or a 15-minute walk in the fresh spring air!” Awesome advice!3. Have a written business planA large percentage of businesses fail due to lack of planning. Your business plan is your road map. It should include your goals, your market research, and your sales and marketing models, among other important pieces of information. Focus on the things that need attention first, and create tasks under each of those categories. Use your business plan as a reference point and tool to measure your accomplishments. Your goals plus your actions will result in your success!4. Select a program that most mirrors your business goalsThere are many great green building programs, such as LEED for Homes, the new National Green Building Standard, the NAHB Model Green Home Building Guidelines, and regional or local programs. Once you select the program that best fits your company’s goals and construction guidelines, compare your list against the program’s checklist and further investigate those items that you would need to incorporate to achieve the different levels of certification for your homes.Going green is a big business. You can get your share of the green pie through strategic planning. Don’t get left behind!Read Part 2 >>last_img read more

Tripura to set up AIIMS-like facility

first_imgThe Tripura government would establish a high-tech hospital on the lines of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences at Delhi. Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb on Wednesday visited Bodhjungnagar at the outskirts of Agartala to check the availability of land and work out other modalities.The Vision Document of the BJP released ahead of the Assembly elections in Tripura in February had assured setting up of an adequate number of multi-speciality hospitals with trauma care and an AIIMS-like facility in the State.After his visit, Mr. Deb said the site, which has more than 250 acres of government land, seemed suitable for establishing such a facility. “This hospitalwould help patients from other places, specially from neighbouring Northeastern States,” he said, adding that once it is set up, people would not have to rush to Chennai and other major cities for critical treatment.last_img read more

3 civilians injured in Kulgam blast

first_imgMilitants triggered a grenade blast in south Kashmir’s Kulgam on Wednesday morning, leaving three civilians injured.The police said militants made an abortive bid to throw a grenade towards the Police Station Dhamhal Hanjpora in Kulgam. “It missed the target and exploded on the roadside. Three civilians were injured,” said the police.The police said the injured, who suffered splinter wounds, were shifted to a hospital. The injured were identified as Ayaz Ahmad Bhat, Sabzar Ahmad Hajam and Bilal Ahmad Khatana.Meanwhile, the area was cordoned off after the attack. However, no militant was nabbed till last reports came in.last_img read more

PBA D-League: St. Clare headed to playoffs after easy win over AMA

first_img“We just want to finish the eliminations on a high note. Hopefully, we carry it over to the next phase,” said St. Clare coach Jinno Manansala in Filipino after his squad head into the playoffs with a 6-3 record in the Aspirants’ Group.Fontanilla scored 16 points, 11 of which came in the first half, while also grabbing six rebounds and dishing out five assists. Lunor tallied 13 points as the Saints had seven players in double digits.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logisticsSt. Clare still has a chance to grab the No. 2 spot and the twice-to-beat edge if Family Mart-Enderun beats University of Santo Tomas on Thursday.Joshua Munzon led also-ran AMA (2-7) with 27 points, 13 rebounds, four assists, and three steals while Franky Johnson fired 19. Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess LATEST STORIES Ethel Booba twits Mocha over 2 toilets in one cubicle at SEA Games venue DA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anew Duterte wants probe of SEA Games mess ‘Rebel attack’ no cause for concern-PNP, AFP Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Geje Eustaquio looks for more improvement after tough comeback win Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Catholic schools seek legislated pay hike, too Joshua Fontanilla of St. Clare College. PBA IMAGESMANILA, Philippines— St. Clare College Virtual Reality clinched a quarterfinals spot after 119-89 rout of AMA Online Education in the 2019 PBA D-League Tuesday at JCSGO Gym in Cubao.It was a one-sided affair from the start after Joshua Fontanilla and Darwin Lunor spearheaded the Titan’s early breakaway.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ Two-day strike in Bicol fails to cripple transport View commentslast_img read more