March 4, 2010
In 2010 on a Blackstone Ranch Foundation/National Geographic Innovation Challenge Grant, Solar CITIES Egypt Director Hanna Fathy, from the Zabaleen Trash Recycler’s Community, and Dr. T.H. Culhane, co-founder of Solar CITIES e.V. travelled through Kenya, Tanzania, Burundi, and Rwanda. During their travels they introduced food waste-based biogas systems to friends and colleagues. In Tanzania, Culhane and Fathy worked with fellow 2009 National Geographic Emerging Explorer Grace Gobbo of the Jane Goodall Institute (JGI) and JGI Intern Joram Samaon to build two-2,000 liter ARTI style digesters in the village of MKalinzi. This village is on the edge of Gombe Stream Chimpanzee Reserve. The goal of these digesters is to help stop deforestation at the margins of the reserve for firewood. They also built two digesters in the city of Kigoma. One was built at the home of Grace Gobbo and one was built at the home of Joram Samaon. The goal of these digesters was to help relieve the pressure on the forests for urban charcoal.