managed by Katharina Danner
Char2Cool e.V. - Biochar from water hyacinths! Water hyacinths are a fast growing weed that has invaded water bodies all over Africa and Asia. The dense plant covers on lakes and rivers block harbours, make fishing impossible and choke any aquatic life below. An economic, social and ecological catastrophe! We are working with affected communities across Africa, to turn the weed into biochar. Biochar is a permanent carbon sink and helps to remove CO2 from the atmosphere. Our team gives the know-how of biochar production and application. Our local partners are using their own capacities to set up and run the actual production. The producers sell the biochar locally as a soil enhancer. The application of biochar makes soils more fertile and drought-resistant. By connecting income generation with climate protection, we have created a self-financing model for sustainable development!
Half a year ago without a job... today he was contracted by the Lagos Water Ways Authority to harvest the water hyacinths in the harbour of Lagos! 🎉
We got great news from our partner Peter Bassey and his team in Lagos, Nigeria. The concept of water hyacinths utilization instead of removal is getting attention. The local authority which is responsible for the water ways in Lagos (LASWA) has taken notice of our work. They have just given a contract to Peter: The harvest of the water hyacinths in the harbour of Lagos! 🌿💪
Why is this contract so significant for our project?
This contract proves that our model works! It shows that the manual harvesting is supported by the local community and municipality. It also is a way for Peter to have additional income which marks the first step towards an independent business. 😃💲
What makes our concept so special?
...no machines! Machines seem like an obvious improvment to produce more, faster… but that isn’t our goal, and only partially true.
Peter and his team harvest by hand which makes them be more efficient and mobile:
Our approach is to create independent and decentralized productions. This means that community members are running the biochar productions as their own business. In the end it is up to them to purchase the equipment that works for them... and the decision is clear: No machines.
Peter and his team freed a whole section of the river from water hyacinths in one morning:
Why machines are a bad investment…
Harvesting machines are too large to be used in the rivers and narrow canals. The machines need a minimum water depth which is not reached in the rivers or anywhere close to the shore. Furthermore do machines cost money, fuel costs money, maintainance consts money… especially if there is noone within 500km who is selling the needed spare parts. 🙁
Why a donation on Betterplace is a good investment...
What we need is start-up financing until the project can carry itself. Contracts like for the harvest of water hyacinths in the harbour are only possible because we have shown that our model works! 😃
It is time for the next step: Let's show that biochar also works!
As soon as we can show that biochar restores the fertility of degraded soil and increases harvests, there will be a huge interest in it... which creates yet another income stream for our producers. The biochar productions can finally finance themselves. 🌍🌿
We need your support!