Tuesday, August 21, 2018

IMG_9439A Green Economy Partnership (GEP) project has officially been launched at Ligodho Pilot Site in Homa Bay to start the production of Biomass Briquettes from Agro-Industrial residues. Presiding over the launch of the project, the Cabinet Secretary (Cs) for Environment and Natural Resources Prof. Judi Wakhungu who was accompanied by the Principal Secretary for Natural Resources Dr. Margaret Mwakima said Kenya Forest Research Institute (KEFRI) and Gum Arabic and Resins Association (GARA) together with Royal Norwegian Society Development (Norgesvel) were to implement the project as from 1st May 2015 to 30th October 2017.

The project is funded by the Nordic Climate Facility (NCF) through Nordic Environment Finance Corporation (NEFCO) to a tune of Kshs. 62 million and Kshs. 7 million from the Kenyan Government.

The CS said that this project will be used to test efficient methods of producing fuel wood energy from sugarcane bagasse with the aim of saving more firewood from remaining scattered trees in Homa bay County.

“Lack of proper disposal of Agro-Industrial residues is a major cause of green House gas (GHG) emission in the agricultural sector, just because the sugarcane bagasse generated annually is heaped and left to decay around the mills or burned in open fields” said the CS.

She added that Green Economy Partnership (GEP) project will combine both climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies in off-grid sugarcane farming systems and will aim at developing and implementing business models to stimulate the growth of green rural enterprises.

IMG_9434The project will benefit the residents in providing knowledge transfer and job opportunities as women and youths will be involved in bio-enterprises for socio-economic benefits.

GEP project will engage Migori Jua Kali co-operative union engineering services to fabricate efficient carbonization kilns and briquetting machines based on agreed designs in improved KEFRI models. The union will also train beneficiary groups on how to operate and maintain the kilns and briquetting machines.

The Ps Dr. Margaret Mwakima  on her part said that the Launch of Green Economy Partnership (GEP) project at Ligodho pilot site  in Homa Bay for production of charcoal from sugarcane  Bagasse is in line with the Ministry’s mandate of promoting  social economic pillar for a healthy and clean environment. The Ps said that KEFRI’s Research Programme has identified the existing opportunities in the sugar belt region and is now researching on better environmental management.

Mwakima said that GEP project will therefore address the challenges of a clean and healthy environment by creating wealth through carbonization of biomass briquettes from sugarcane bagasse with the aim of reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the sugar belt regions of Kenya.

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