Please see the attachment with full report!!
Nasir Uddin Visit to Bangladesh Debrief Document
Em[POWER]’s Mission: em[POWER] seeks to revitalize waste scavenging communities throughout the world using a modular and scalable cooperative development model based on renewable resources. By coordinating and streamlining the waste utilization process of waste scavengers, the em[POWER] model will improve the sorting efficiency of recyclables, turn organic waste and waste water into electricity, create high quality compost, and provide the nucleus for a host of community-owned businesses. This will in turn provide community access to electricity, enhance educational opportunities, improve local health, and raise worker wages, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and waste overflow. By having a series of autonomous co-op units around the world, em[POWER], as an umbrella organization can help them access markets which require scale for entry. Our overarching vision is to convert a form of poverty into a mechanism that can be used by a community to improve their living conditions and allow them to make a positive contribution to society.
Day 1 (Dec 26): em[POWER] Project Bangladesh meets with GUC board and Project Manager of Bangladesh
This meeting represented an introduction to some members of em[POWER]’s onsite partner, Gram Bangla Unnayan Committee (http://www.grambanglabd.org/), that included AKM Maksud and Khandaker Reaz Hossain. It also included Sejan Bari, our new Project Manager as well as a recent graduate of Electrical Engineering from AIUB. We spent the few hours on introduction, progress thus far, and my itinerary for the overall trip.
Day 2 (Dec 27): em[POWER] Project Bangladesh looks at Fair Trade Bangladesh partnership with Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) and Prokritee!
- Meeting with Mennonite Central Committee (http://asia.mcc.org/bangladesh)
This meeting steered our initial model that em[POWER]’s been built upon in a new direction. It was an unexpected meeting that was simply to be used to learn more about HIV counseling program that MCC is providing for GUC. MCC partnership would lead to collaboration for recycling program, agriculture program, job creation program, composting program, and water purification plans.
(Left to Right) Bita (MCC HIV Program Coordinator), Phillip Mathew Birkey (MCC Administrator), GUC and em[POWER] Team To The Right
- Meeting with Prokritee (http://www.prokritee.com/)
Prokritee (meaning "nature" in Bangla) is a service based agency that provides managerial, product design and development and marketing assistance to organizations in Bangladesh.
Output from meeting: identify a fair trade product and processingà Prokritee will market and distribute the product for us. Suggested to Suraiya Chowdhury (Director of Design of Prokritee) that the product that we would target would be glass.
Pictured with Swapan Kumar Das (Executive Director of Prokritee)
Day 3 (Dec 28): Em[POWER] Energy Group Project Bangladesh meets with Waste Concern's Maksud Sinha
Output from Meeting: collaboration on 3-R strategy, incentive programs, and potential support and guidance on program using point of contact (Shah Monirul Kabir)
(Left to Right) Pictured with Ziaur Rahman (Executive Director of Social Advancement Program and Networking Organization www.sapno.org), Maqsood Sinha (Executive Director of Waste Concern), Kazi Enayet Hossain (Executive Director of Save The Coastal People), Shah Monirul Kabir (Senior Training Officer of Waste Concern)
Day 4 (Dec 29): Project Bangladesh is making great strides! Financial planning meeting with Onsite Project Manager, Sejan Bari, and a great meeting with Department of Environment...getting closer to taking next steps in implementation
Pictured with Jafar Siddique (Director of Natural Resource Management at Department of Environment)
Day 5 (Dec 30) in Dhaka, Bangladesh: first visit of em[POWER] US staff in Matuail Landfill in Jatrabari with Women's Co-op/waste picker, Trash Traders, and Van drivers...we have made great developments!!
Output from the meetings: dimension and design of the sorting facility, need for eco-based latrine, shower area, rest area, storage space for inorganic material, and providing vocational education
- Source separation at household level is possible through house owner association and discussing isolation of inorganic and organic; we developed relationship with van drivers and they have agreed to help.
Trip to Matuail Sanitary Landfill
Meeting with Waste Traders at Matuail Landfill, Jatrabari, Bangladesh
Meeting with Waste Pickers at Matuail Landfill, Jatrabari, Bangladesh
Meeting with Van Drivers at Matuail Landfill, Jatrabari, Bangladesh
Day 12 (Jan 6th) in Bangladesh: all day workshop/meeting with GUC, em[POWER] Interns, and other guests went smoothly!!
- Jan 31st: Project Phase 3 Proposal/Business Plan
- February: rent space and begin building, prototype development for composting, biodigester, and duckweed infrastructure
- March: continue building and set-up of fair trade processing center
- April: full launch of small-scale em[POWER] Phase III model