Submitted by: GVDsa - UGF Beto - CNES
Implemented country: Niger
Title: Niger: Turning Landfills into Gold Mines
For many African cities, landfills are ticking environmental time bombs. Plastic, metal, wood, oil, and any other household trash ends up in the landfills where the waste rots away and toxic materials fill the soil and ground water. People as well as the environment are suffering. How a landfill can be turned into a gold mine was demonstrated by a showcase project for systematic waste collection and processing in Niger. In 2005, engineering scientist Ali Moussa Dogo developed a concept by the name of ALMODO – a true landmark project. A father of two, Ali has 12 years of experience in the field of recycling and waste processing. He is the founder of GVD-Niger, and his objective is to help the poor urban population in Niger. Solid waste materials are collected in landfills and then used to create new and useful products which are then sold. Ali Moussa Dogo is convinced that sustainable development must happen on the base of your own resources, locally available technology, and local responsibility. He doesn’t believe in calling for help to the outside. Ali’s approach makes sense, not only in Africa.
Today, ALMODO is a sustainable, self-financing waste recycling system that is implemented in the three largest cities in Niger and works in cooperation with a women’s cooperative that collects and separates the waste. The object is to improve the quality of living for the poorest of Niger’s urban population. Ali’s motto is: Anything can be recycled. You only need a good sense of imagination and some manual skills. Metal, wood, building rubble – anything can be turned into a large variety of new products: Pushcarts for waste collection, waste compactors, blackboards for schools, building bricks, paving stones, latrines, organic fertilizer and fuels. Even solar systems are built that again provide the necessary heat for recycling plastic trash. Municipal authorities have recognized the value of this initiative. They cooperate with GVD-Niger wherever they can, but their budget is limited as well. Ali Moussa Dogo is in need of sponsors so that his pilot project can expand. This is his biggest hurdle right now.
Despite many obstacles, Ali can’t be stopped. He has proven that his idea makes a lot of sense. Each day, 40 tons of garbage are being recycled, which is becoming very visible: Landfills are getting smaller and people’s quality of living is on the rise. Especially women are profiting from Ali’s idea. They are paid for waste collection and separation, which gives them a regular income. The sanitary situation is on the rise as well. New and affordable products are created, as is a new market. The environment and the climate are being protected because there is less landfill gas venting, the ground water is less polluted, organic fertilizer for agriculture is produced, clean energy is provided, there is less deforestation because of less need for fuel wood, etc. Ali Moussa Dogo has a lot more planned for the future. His trust is in the youth of the country. In 2011, he organized the ALMODO Environmental Education Center for creating more environmental awareness in schools.
“You have to fight poverty with appropriate solutions.”
Ali Moussa Dogo