Victor Langenberg, an expert at the Dutch Deltares Institute, asks himself the question: “Are we listening enough to the needs of African peoples?”
Victor Langenberg participates in the VIA WATER program in Africa. This programme aims to find innovative solutions to water supply problems affecting cities in seven African countries: Benin, Ghana, Kenya, Mali, Mozambique, Rwanda and Southern Sudan. VIA Water supports innovations and projects in the water sector!
Discover Victor Langenberg’s interview on African culture and Dutch innovators trying to be effective in African countries.
Green Keeper Africa is fortunate to have been recognized as an innovative solution in this program and Victor LANGENBERG talks to us about it:
“Can you give us an example of a success story?
One of the success stories is the water hyacinth project in Benin. These invasive floating plants are blocking a lot of development around one of their biggest cities. The lake is basically dying. One of the major consequences is that people can’t fish anymore.
People got sick of it and started seeking solutions to address this issue. They are looking for new ways to use water hyacinth and turn it into products that can be marketed locally. Especially for women, who usually don’t have many alternatives, other than helping with fish processing in the delta or subsistence farming, this offers new business opportunities.
They harvest the water hyacinth, dry it, package it and then bring it to the factory, where they get a good price. The factory processes it into a kind of fib
re that is used in the shipping and oil industry to absorb pollutants and oily substances.
This innovative local product has a vast social impact and it cleans the environment at the same time. Hence, an inclusive and green project, which is managed locally and of which the products are also marketed locally. This project inspires more people throughout Africa. I am convinced it will have major impact.”