[GRRN] Zero Waste in Aftica

Bill Sheehan (zerowaste@grrn.org)
Tue, 16 Feb 1999 07:58:07 -0500

-----Original Message-----
From: ZERI Foundation <a.karlsson@home.se>
To: Academic <a.karlsson@home.se>
Date: Tuesday, February 16, 1999 4:55 AM
Subject: ZERI News Flash 990216

The ZERI Foundation has been requested by UNDP to assist the Government of The
Gambia to design a sustainable development strategy based on the waste
which are perceived in the country as waste. Over the next 18 months, ZERI
are expected to visit each African nation, in order to design a strategy. The
compilation of these reports will represent an innovate vision and a major
plan on "how to do development differently", as has been requested by Mrs.
Awori, Assistant Administrator UNDP and Director of the Regional Bureau for

The main waste streams which have been identified as possible engines for
eradication and sustainable human development are:
1. peanut shells
2. spent grain from the brewery
3. oyster shells

The peanut shells and spent grain are dried and mixed to serve as a substrate
for mushroom farming. The tests have been initiated at the University of
(Windhoek) and the Africa University (Mutare, Zimbabwe). These test provided
most encouraging results. The University of Addis Ababa will provide the
expertise, since it has experience in introducing the mushroom farming to
teenagers in Ethiopia. A training manual has been prepared, and was funded by
the German Technical Co-operation Agency (GTZ).

The brewery, which is controlled by a German group, has already made public
intention to manage the waste along the ZERI principles. The spent grain could
thus become an engine for local development, instead of remaining a pollutant.

The oysters are a major source of protein for the people. Whereas oysters are
a delicacy in most countries, here it is a a staple food. The shells are
Recently these shells are partly collected and crushed to serve as a basis for
roads. Though, a more value added approach would be welcomed. In Norway and
USA, shells are used to extract kitin, an inert material used for hospital

Anders Karlsson
ZERI Foundation