Most African countries are faced with the challenge of waste disposal and management. It is not surprising to see huge refuse dumps in major African cities as they all face the menace of waste collection, management, and disposal. Poor waste disposal generally leads to disease outbreaks, flooding, and pandemics.
The largest refuse dump in Ethiopia for over 50 years used to be Koshe. Hundreds of people used to send in their waste to the site daily from different parts of the capital city, Addis Ababa. Last year, however, there was a major mishap as 114 people were killed at the site. This led to the government thinking of a new way to utilize the large site which is estimated at 36 football pitches.
Using the Reppie Waste-to-Energy Project, the Ethiopian government has converted Koshe to a waste-to-energy plant. This is the first of its kind on the continent and it definitely brings a revolution to waste management. The plant should have begun running in January and it is expected to incinerate an estimated 1,400 tons of waste daily. That amount to 80% of the waste produced in Addis Ababa daily, this means the plant will supply up to 30% of the daily household electricity needs of the people in the city.
The waste will be burnt in the combustion chamber and the heat produced will boil the water that will turn to steam that will drive the turbine generator. The generator is what produces electricity. The plant in Addis Ababa was made possible by a partnership between the Ethiopian government and an association of international companies. The companies include China National Electric Engineering and Ramboll, Cambridge Industries Limited (Singapore), and a Danish engineering farm.
It is expected that this project will birth a revolution in waste management and many others will spring up in Africa.