Success Stories DRC
Collaboration and strong networks
- To submit a proposal to RUNRES the stakeholders had to form a consortium with stakeholders from different parts of the value chain. For many of the stakeholders, this was a very new idea.
- Three consortia were formed each working on a different innovation in the field of recycling of organic waste to produce compost and fertilizer. The consortia consist of waste collectors, waste processors and coffee cooperatives as end-users of the produced products. Linking waste processors to waste collectors and end-users is one success of RUNRES DRC.
- The stakeholders describe that working jointly on the implementation of innovations is very helpful. Everybody can concentrate on what they can do best, while in collaboration they can reach something which they couldn’t do on their own.
“For us the primary material we need for our production of compost is waste. Working together with waste collectors helps to get access to the primary material. Working together with the coffee cooperatives helps us to be closer to our consumers. When RUNRES presented us their approach we said, wow that’s an opportunity! Working in a group was one of the biggest learning experiences for us. It created a great spirit and we can learn from how the others learn and how they do things in their businesses.” (Elie Mapenzi Matabaro, FDA)
“The transition from a dumpsite approach to the waste recycling site approach advocated by the RUNRES project remains the only way out to alleviate the hardship the waste collectors are facing and it will contribute to make the waste management in the city of Bukavu more sustainable and efficient”. (Safi Mushengezi, head of FESDD)
“There is gold in our dust bins.” (Stakeholder during a workshop)
“With the training in composting techniques which we received through the RUNRES project, the technical skills of our staff have been strengthened. This led to a substantial boost, in terms of the quality and the quantity of the compost production as well as it’s maturation time, which is now much shorter than before. As the cost of production is reduced, we are positive that the compost is now more affordable and accessible for small farmers”. (Patrick Murhula, SAV)
Informing and involving the authorities
- In October 2021, RUNRES organized a visit to the processing sites in Kabare for local authorities. The purpose was to introduce the activities of the three innovations. All the consortia got the opportunity to present their work in a short pitch.
- Involved in the tour were the provincial ministers for agriculture and environment, local authorities and customary chiefs (the Mwami of Kabare, the Kabare territory administrator, and the head of the area) as well as the mayor of Bukavu.
- All of the guests were very impressed by how the innovations are implementing the concept of circular economy, which they described as key for sustainable and efficient waste management. The local and provincial authorities pledged full support to the project and suggested that IITA should scale it up as a national program since waste management issues are witnessed in all the cities in DRC
- IITA is now an implementing partner of the DRCs new national “Agenda for Agricultural Transformation”. At the beginning of 2022, IITA signed a respective agreement with the national government. This collaboration provides a great opportunity for scaling up the innovative practices of RUNRES in other provinces.