In the commune of Zé, in the south of Benin, women cassava processors benefited from a project to convert their waste into biogas. The project, funded by the International Organization of the Francophonie (OIF), will reduce deforestation and increase the income of 350 women cassava processors.
The NGO Afrique Espérance launched an ecological project on the 8th of May 2020 in the commune of Zé, located in the south of Benin. The issue at stake: the recovery of organic waste in the cassava value chain. Thus, the cassava peelings and other organic waste from the production of garri (granulated cassava) will now be dumped into a biodigester. The biogas produced will replace firewood in the cooking of garri, while the organic fertiliser from the biogas production (digestate) will be used as fertiliser in the cassava plantations.
By adopting biogas as an alternative energy source, the 350 or so women cassava processors in the commune of Zé will reduce the cost of garri production, while protecting their health and the environment. It is estimated that the production of one kilogram of garri requires an average of 1.30 kg to 2.40 kg of wood, depending on the type of household. Thus, women are exposed for almost 10 hours a day to the smoke generated by burning firewood. These fumes, composed of gaseous pollutants, can lead to respiratory diseases such as chronic bronchitis, lung cancer, cardiovascular and eye diseases.
An IFM-funded project
The implementation of the organic waste recovery project in the municipality of Zé will take six months. It is supported by the Francophone Institute for Sustainable Development (IFDD), a subsidiary body of the International Organization of the Francophonie (OIF), to the tune of nine thousand euros out of the 9,605 euros required. Additional resources are mobilized by the NGO Afrique Espérance.
The financial support of the Francophone Institute for Sustainable Development comes within the framework of its “Objective 2030” initiative, which consists in promoting concrete progress in sustainable development through the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.
In this vein, the organic waste recovery project in the commune of Zé is precisely in line with objective no. 13 of the 17 SDOs defined by the UN. That is to say, to preserve and restore terrestrial ecosystems, ensuring that they are used in a sustainable manner, to manage forests sustainably, to combat desertification, to halt and reverse the process of land degradation and to halt the loss of biodiversity.