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Refugees for Greener Cities (R4GC)

Creating a generational clean and decent faecal sludge and waste management mechanism for smart and green cities in Uganda.

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Explain your project idea (2,000 characters)

More than 87% of the urban people in Uganda own and or use pit latrines, communal toilets, or other improved sanitation solutions which is vital to reduce transmission of diarrhoea, cholera and other related diseases, the greatest challenges however arise about how to deal with the pit latrine waste management with in these urban cities.

Latrine pits need to be emptied periodically and in Uganda’s densely populated urban environments; it is simply not feasible to dig a new pit every time they fill up. With lack of resources available to serve such populations means that faecal waste management is often the responsibility of residents/ slum communities themselves hence leaving them with no option but the easiest means of disposal which is dumping the sludge and other wastes into nearby open drains, water sources and rivers, which has significant public health and environmental consequences like endemic diseases (cholera, diarrhoea, typhoid) with the whole community potentially being exposed to untreated human waste.

Our project seeks to create the best alternative solution of faecal waste management through recycling faecal sludge and other city wastes to make energy saving briquettes which is efficient, affordable and reliable energy source. This will be done through our five phase model, which is Waste outsourcing, Waste treatment, Waste recycling/ carbonisation and Energy saving briquettes production and Marketing. This project will save the environment through modern waste management techniques, improve the standards of living of the urban communities free from public health challenges and the process will create employment opportunities to the majority urban refugees in Uganda.

Who are the beneficiaries? (1,000 characters)

Our beneficiaries are both urban and peri-urban communities in central Uganda with a scope of 4 districts which are currently faced with the faecal waste management challenges, poor city garbage disposal alternatives and increased urbanization. Within these places our target population are the urban refugees currently 754,000 in number and increasing who are highly exposed to endemic poor waste management related diseases like diarrhoea, typhoid, and at time cholera.
With our targeted beneficiaries, our idea will save them from poor waste management related diseases, and by recycling faecal sludge to make energy briquettes will create employment opportunities to the majority unemployed urban refugees through our value chain and conserves the nature/ environment since briquettes have no carbon emission than commonly used source of energy which is charcoal (Black Gold)

How is your idea unique? (1,000 characters)

Unlike other ideas in relation to the challenge we are solving, our idea follows a five phase model. That is faecal sludge and other urban wastes out-sourcing, treatment, recycling through carbonizing processes, production of energy saving briquettes and marketing processes. Following our production processes which involves mixing of carbon (char) with binder (molasses) and filler (clay) all ordinary raw materials and compressing using locally made machines to produce energy saving briquettes as the best alternative source of energy.
Our whole process targets urban refugees as our direct beneficiaries considering the vulnerability of their status so as to improve on their standards of living unlike other organizations.

Idea Proposal Stage (choose one)

  • Prototype: I have done some small tests or experiments with prospective users to continue developing the idea.

Tell us more about your organization/company (1 sentence and website URL)

Refugee for Greener Cities (R4GC) is a social enterprise that seeks to create a generational clean and decent waste management mechanism for smart cities through empowering vulnerable urban communities to a self- reliant model in Uganda. This is done through mobilizing communities into groups, training them in livelihood and self reliant programs especially concerning with environmental conservation and waste management for sustainable development.

Expertise in sector

  • 3-5 years

Organization Filing Status

  • No, but we plan to register in the future.

In 3-4 sentences, tell us the inspiration or story that encouraged you to start this project.

Growing up as a refugee in Kisenyi-Kampala slums was the worst time in my life, with poor sanitation and its related diseases like, dysentery and diarrhoea that claimed the life of my childhood friend Kayumba among others in 1997. It was until 2000 when my family was naturalized that we accessed improved social services like education, health services, shelter and clean water that improved our lives. It was until 2013 after my academics that I started R4GC for empowering refugee communities.

Please explain how your selected topic areas are influenced, in the local context of your project (1,000 characters).

1. Peace. Uganda hosts the largest number of refugees with approximate 2.4million as per July 2017, this is due to the increased political instabilities in the neighboring countries of South Sudan, DRC, Somalia and Burundi. This has greatly increased refugee influx in the country with no long term refugee empowerment solutions.
 2. Prosperity. With the increased instabilities in these areas has greatly increased on refugee influx in Uganda with 2.4million people both in settlements and urban slums. This has left majority of the refugee communities vulnerable to only dependent on the foreign donations for basic social needs like food, shelter, health services and cloths without self reliant projects for their prosperity.
3. Planet. With poor faecal sludge and waste management mechanisms in urban centers of Uganda has led to increased environmental and soil degradation, water pollution climatic changes like prolonged droughts and poor sanitation related diseases.

Who will work alongside your organization in the project idea? (1,000 characters)

Since our work is based in urban and Peri- urban centres in Uganda, focussing on urban refugees for the generational clean and decent waste management mechanism, different stakeholders are targeted in regard to our project idea. Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) and National Water and Sewage Corporation (NWSC) will be our immediate partners in charge of the faecal sludge and other waste management since they are in charge of city physical planning and sanitation and International refugee bodies headed by United Nations high commissioner for refugees (UNHCR) and its implementing partners in Uganda like AIRD, ARC, and Samaritans purse international all these in relation with Refugee local council leaders work towards empowering refugees through energy saving briquette making in Uganda.

Please share some of the top strengths identified in the community which your project will serve (500 characters)

Uganda hosts the largest number of refugees in Africa with 2.4 million refugees as per July 2017, of these refugees urban refugees total up to 46% which make the country vulnerable to this influx. With increased unemployment levels among the urban refugees clearly shows that refugees youth bulge will be solved throughout our value chain. With the poor faecal sludge and waste management in the urban centres in Uganda portrays a need for an immediate sustainable solution which we are providing.

Geographic Focus

R4GC targets urban and peri urban centers/ cities known for hosting refugees in Uganda.

How many months are required for the project idea? (500 characters)

our idea will be implemented with in 36months

Did you submit this idea to our 2017 BridgeBuilder Challenge? (Y/N)

  • No

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Photo of Jaci Braga
Team

Very interesting concept. I am curious to learn more about the carbonization process - how to turn fecal sludge into briquettes that are sanitary and then how those briquettes are used for energy and just how much carbon they might produce when burned.

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