Celebrating World Water Week through our biodigester! | Aga Khan Academies

Celebrating World Water Week through our biodigester!

26 August 2019

Since 1991, the Stockholm International Water Institute organises World Water Week, which is an initiative focused on working through global water challenges. Being surrounded by a rich, green and blue environment near the ocean, both students and staff/faculty at the Aga Khan Academy Mombasa work toward greener solutions, including ways to preserve water through a biodigester. 

The biodigester, located on campus in an area called the sewage treatment plan, plays a significant role in ensuring AKA Mombasa stays green and rich. The biogester prepares grey water from the showers and toilets around campus into usable water to nourish the plants. 

“The biodigester plays a critical role in ensuring that organic and other solid wastes are pretreated before being discharged or expelled to the environment,” said Fredrick Agolah, the facilities & maintenance admin clerk. “This prevents contamination of toxic wastes with underground water and nearby water bodies such as oceans thereby polluting the ecosystem. The treated water is also used in irrigation purposes especially the football pitch.”

The biogester on campus began operating in March 2018 and, on a normal day, can convert 110,000 litres of water per day into usable water, with this rate being higher on rainy days, according to Fredrick. 

For the future, in terms of water preservation on campus, Fredrick said their main focus is on the drainage system.

“We’d like to work on creating more underground stormwater collection/storage tanks,” said Fredrick. “However, we are still in the process of developing the scope for these constructions. We are trying to find the best collection points, capacity of tanks to be installed/constructed and drainage system/line to the appropriate processing points.”

Other efforts done by the rest of the AKA Mombasa to preserve water consist of students working on projects to help local communities transform unclean water to clean water to drink. Aside from water preservation, the AKA Mombasa community also encourages its community and beyond to avoid using plastic. Various efforts have been put into place at the Academy, such as not using plastic cups anymore for the water dispensers so reusable water bottles can be used. A committee has also been established, consisting of staff/faculty, in which they think of the best ways to make AKA Mombasa more eco-friendly for its campus and around it.

By Anusha Lalani