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Photo of the month: June 2021

Wetland technology in Arusha, Tanzania, piloted by BIOCON Africa Company Limited. Photo by: Courtesy of BIOCON Africa.

Photo of the month: June 2021

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World Environment Day is marked annually on June 5. The day is to create worldwide awareness and encourage action to protect the environment through elimination of air, water, and land pollution. It is also a day to advocate for sustainable consumption patterns and reforms in national and international environmental policy. The theme for 2021 World Environment Day is “Ecosystem Restoration”, a term that takes many forms including growing trees, greening cities, rewilding gardens, changing diets or cleaning up water systems.

At BioInnovate Africa, we support green innovations that are eco-friendly. On this World Environment Day, Professor Karoli Njau, who leads BioInnovate Africa supported project on new integrated methods for industrial wastewater treatment, narrates how they have developed an agro/biowaste conversion and treatment technology and successfully piloted it in waste water treatments systems in Ethiopia, Tanzania, and Uganda. With this technology, agrobased industries can easily comply with wastewater effluent standards and recover nutrients, while generating biogas and bio-fertilisers.

What motivated you to start your business?

I have been researching in the area of wastewater treatment for many years. I teamed up with a group of researchers at the University of Dar es Salaam specialised in the area. We started with waste stabilisation ponds, which at the time, were the technology for treating municipal wastewater. We further examined the processes to enhance the systems, and  in 1998, we introduced constructed wetlands, which was a totally new technology in Africa. Bioconversion Technology Africa Company Limited, simply known as BIOCON Africa, was birthed to address two challenges we experienced with the new technology. The first was slow absorption of the technology by companies implementing waste treatment, and the second was dependency by sub-Saharan African countries on foreign countries to supply technologies. Registering BIOCON Africa as a business has made it possible to provide the wastewater treatment technologies in as sustainable way in eastern Africa region and beyond.

Why should consumers buy your products and services?

We sell clean technologies that address local wastewater treatment challenges. Our products and services meet two objectives of environmental compliance, and resource recovery. They are also rated affordably in the market, and we have reasonable payback period. Our technical support is readily available, and the technologies have warranty couple with one to two years performance follow-up.

What opportunities do you see for the future of your business?

There are a lot of agro/biowaste industries and institutions in the region and beyond that need our wastewater treatment solution. We want to also train local government engineers on the design, operation and maintenance of waste treatment systems following the Tanzanian design manual for sanitation projects. The trainings will be regular and modular, and will be offered to engineers and technicians to enable them understand how the systems are designed, as well as run and maintain the systems.

Click here to download the poster

Click here to learn more about BioInnovate Africa, and here to learn more about icipe.

Written by Valine Moraa