Celebrating a new investment deal! Safe disposal of hazardous medical waste in Uganda

Celebrating a new investment deal! Safe disposal of hazardous medical waste in Uganda

In Uganda, there is no special way to dispose hazardous medical waste. Health care facilities illegally dump their waste in swamps or bury their waste in on-site pits. These sites fill up quickly and the medical waste is causing health hazards; methane gasses in the sites have the risk to set fire and chemicals leak into the soil, contaminating ground water. In 2009, after having a blood sample taken in hospital, Lydia Naiga realized that the disposal techniques of hospitals and clinics in Uganda were not sustainable. That motivated her to start NLS Waste Services, a company that collects and disposes the hazardous medical waste from hospitals and health care clinics in Kampala. Lack of capacity Lydia and her team collect and dispose all the medical waste responsibly, safe and in an environmental friendly way. Her business grew rapidly over the years, gaining a 75% market share in Kampala, serving the big hospitals and health clinics. Unfortunately, the machinery of NLS lacks capacity, which forced Lydia to turn down new business opportunities. At the moment her two incinerators are used to their full capacity and each of them can handle 100 kilogram of waste per hour with 50 kilogram of ashes as a result. The new incinerator can process 350 kilogram of waste per hour, with only 20 kilogram of ash as a remainder. Thus, replacing one of her old incinerators will double her current capacity and at the same time reduce her waste. Informal investors allow for expansion Via BiD Network, four informal investors were introduced to Lydia. These investors saw the potential of her business.  After receiving valuable...
Biogas Digesters Empower Dairy Farmers in Uganda

Biogas Digesters Empower Dairy Farmers in Uganda

Imagine: you live in a rural, off-grid village in Uganda. A few years ago, you invested your scarce savings in 5 calves. It seemed a wise investment: unlike maize or rice, cows provide income on a daily basis. However, in reality, the milk business turns out frustrating: Due to a lack of electricity and hence a cold storage facility, you can only milk once a day. Also, the traders take unfair advantage of your lack of cold storage and show up at the end of the day, offering rock-bottom prices.  Instead of the $13.80/day you could potentially earn, you earn only $4.5/day. Biogas powered fridges increase farmers revenues “This unfair power play is exactly what motivated our first clients to sign up for our biogas- powered gas fridge”, explains Gabriel Okello, COO of Green Heat. “Many of them had never heard of biogas technology, were unfamiliar with gas-fridges and hence had concerns about the performance and lifetime of the system. However, they were so frustrated with the status quo that they took the risk and invested $3,000, a very significant amount of money. Luckily, the biogas- digester proved to be a profitable investment: 4 of the first 5 customers used the fridge to expand their business activities, by adding more cows or by producing yogurt. The good news travelled fast and in the following months, 23 more farmers ordered a system.   Sustainable alternative for firewood Gabriel and his co-founder Vianney, established Green Heat in 2011. “The business idea all started out of laziness”, Gabriel tells laughingly. “I grew up in a rural village and as a kid, I...