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Waste-to-Wealth Enterprises for promoting Environmental Sustainability and Livelihoods
Description/achievement of initiative

The project aim is to harness the Food, Agriculture, Biodiversity, Land-use and Energy (FABLE) nexus through upscaling Waste-to-Wealth Enterprises (WWE). conceptually, scalable bio-waste recycling operations generate bio-energy (biogas and briquettes), organic fertilizers and biocides to help in; a) substituting firewood/charcoal with bio-energy; b) promoting organic farming; c) improving municipal sanitation; d) reducing youths unemployment. This iinnovative pathway, based on entrepreneurship and inter-sector linkages goes beyond technology, equipment and physical infrastructure. It incorporates non-tech initiatives that include psycho-social, cultural; economic and policy dimensions for sustainable development. WWE projects piloted so far make economic sense even in absence of social-benefit accounting.

Implementation methodologies

Developing and demonstrating technical & business models of waste-wealth-enterprises (WWE) include; a. Technical processes: Supported by Uganda National Biogas Association (UNBA), a community-based biogas unit has been set-up at Ndejje trading centre to demonstrate biogas productions. With support from UNREEEA and GIZ, a one-stop canter for demonstrating all forms of renewable energy (including solar, wind energy, biomass and biogas is being planned at the main campus of Ndejje University in Luweero District. b. Entrepreneurial processes; this dimension focuses on the business aspects of producing bioenergy at affordable costs and technical requirements. The processes rotate around; feasibility/cost-benefit analyses; returns on investment/pay-back analyses; branding, marketing and distribution networks; analysis of competitiveness of briquettes and biogas relative to traditional energy (firewood, charcoal, electricity) i. The proof-of-concept briquettes production project at St Kizito High School; a complete chain of briquettes production and consumption has been piloted successfully at the school; with the following components; i) waste collection bins used to collect and sort waste at source ii) a carboniser that transforms bio-waste into carbon; iii) a unit that crushes carbon into biochar; iv) an extruder that produces briquettes; v) a solar drier that removes moisture from the briquettes; vi) packaging unit; vii) facilities for storage and transportation of briquettes; viii) a commercial scale oven that uses briquettes to bake; ix) a kitchen representing use of briquettes for household cooking; x) school kitchen representing institutional cooking; stoves that use briquettes for institutional cooking; xi) Smart agricultural units that use biochar (and ash from stoves) as fertilisers and biocides. Students and neighbouring communities are practically taken through the stages. The project reveals that; i) an educational institution can depend on briquettes for cooking (without firewood being used); ii) cooking for 1100 students consumes 7000 Kg of briquettes in 100 days; iii) by producing 7000 kg of briquettes, the average net income generated is $ 1000. With capital investment of $ 12,250, operational costs of $1000 and payback period on investment at 14.7 months. ii. Integration of waste recycling with Smart Agriculture. The organic waste that do not make good briquettes is converted into biochar and applied into organic farming. NDU also demonstrates designs for making biocides and disinfectants from bio-waste. An irrigation system powered by solar energy has been developed. Space is optimally utilized in growing high value vegetables. Ornamental gardening is also demonstrated to represent aspects of municipal beautification and greening.

Arrangements for Capacity-Building and Technology Transfer

Coordination mechanisms/governance structure


Kampala Capital City Authority Uganda National Council of Science and Technology National water and Sewerage Corporation Ministries of a) Energy and Mineral Development Water and Environment Uganda National Biogas Association Biomass Energy Efficient Technologies Association Uganda National Renewable Energy Alliance
Progress reports
Goal 1
1.5 - By 2030, build the resilience of the poor and those in vulnerable situations and reduce their exposure and vulnerability to climate-related extreme events and other economic, social and environmental shocks and disasters
Goal 4
4.7 - By 2030, ensure that all learners acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development, including, among others, through education for sustainable development and sustainable lifestyles, human rights, gender equality, promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence, global citizenship and appreciation of cultural diversity and of culture’s contribution to sustainable development
Goal 7
7.1 - By 2030, ensure universal access to affordable, reliable and modern energy services
7.b - By 2030, expand infrastructure and upgrade technology for supplying modern and sustainable energy services for all in developing countries, in particular least developed countries, small island developing States, and land-locked developing countries, in accordance with their respective programmes of support
Goal 11
11.7 - By 2030, provide universal access to safe, inclusive and accessible, green and public spaces, in particular for women and children, older persons and persons with disabilities
Goal 13
13.3 - Improve education, awareness-raising and human and institutional capacity on climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction and early warning
Goal 17
17.17 - Encourage and promote effective public, public-private and civil society partnerships, building on the experience and resourcing strategies of partnerships

Data, monitoring and accountability
June 2019
pilot project write-ups; reports
March 2019
Demonstration units
November 2018
capacity building drafts/curriculum
September 2018
Technical and business models
Financing (in USD)
30,000 USD
In-kind contribution
Land, buildings, office space, vehicles
Other, please specify
national networks
Staff / Technical expertise
staff time; expert researchers

Basic information
Time-frame: July 2018 - june 2019
Kampala Capital City Authority Uganda National Council of Science and Technology National water and Sewerage Corporation Ministries of a) Energy and Mineral Development Water and Environment Uganda National Biogas Association Biomass Energy Efficient Technologies Association Uganda National Renewable Energy Alliance
Contact information
Frederick Kakembo, Dr, dvc@ndejjeuniversity.ac.ug
United Nations