Social Impact Award – Fatima Oyiza Ademoh
UK degree: Masters in Financial Risk Management
Fatima Ademoh developed the first mini-grid biogas to power system in Nigeria, which has provided renewable electricity to two rural communities, and over 1,100 people.
WHAT IS THE WASTE TO WATT PROJECT AND WHY DID YOU DEVELOP IT?
I grew up in an environment where neighbouring agricultural communities were deprived of access to electricity. The lack of modern energy sources means that perishable farm produce is often wasted if the markets and their consumers are not nearby, and it also prevents farmers from adding value to their produce.
After returning from the UK, I was determined to work towards a solution, so I developed the Waste to Watt project – the first mini-grid biogas to power system in Nigeria.
The Waste to Watt renewable energy project is a 30KW mini-grid biogas to power project in two off-grid rural communities in Nigeria. Waste to Watt converts agricultural waste into biogas which can then be used for generating electricity.
HOW DID STUDYING IN THE UK CONTRIBUTE TO YOUR SUCCESS?
I learned so much from my time at the University of Leeds, both from my master’s degree, and from the opportunity to engage with the community. I joined the Enactus student group, and one of our project goals was to encourage local businesses to become more energy efficient, both to save money and for the benefit of the environment.
At the end of my time at Leeds University I had learned how to perform energy audits for businesses and to propose energy-saving techniques. I left the UK with an MSc in Financial Risk Management and an enthusiasm for energy related issues.
WHAT IS THE SOCIAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT OF THIS PROJECT?
Waste to Watt has clear social, economic and environmental impacts.
As a result of the project, the communities of Rije, with 520 residents, and Kuwizhi, with 600 residents, now have access to electricity. This improves their access to clean water and healthcare services, improves the quality of education, and boosts the security of the community. Economically, it increases the productivity of their agribusinesses.
Waste to Watt also reduces greenhouse gases. Agricultural waste, from animals and crops, produce methane which is harmful to the environment, and these are converted to biogas. Waste to Watt is setting a precedent for other entrepreneurs to invest in biogas, and I hope the impact will continue to grow in Nigeria.
Fataima Oyiza Ademoh is the winner of the Study UK Alumni Award for Social Impact, Nigeria 2017.