About Joseph Adelegan:
Across Nigeria, slaughterhouse wastewater is disposed directly into open drains, polluting groundwater and surface water sources and forming mountains of waste dumps. Health indices for communities surrounding the slaughterhouse are the lowest in the country. A Chartered Civil and Structural Engineer, Dr. Joseph Adelegan designed a fixed film anaerobic bioreactor which biodigest slaughterhouse waste—liquid and solid—and converts it into biogas which is compressed as domestic cooking gas.
His model dubbed “Cows to Kilowatts” also eliminates the emission of methane gas, a potent greenhouse gas contributing to climate change and global warming. The model is a recipient of the prestigious 2005 Supporting Entrepreneurs for Environment and Development (SEED) International Award (www.seedinit.org). SEED is supported by IUCN-The World Conservation Union, UNDP, UNEP, Swiss Re-Insurance, GPPi, the Government of United Kingdom, Norway, South Africa, Netherlands, Germany and the United States of America.
The cooking gas is then sold by local women’s market associations to urban poor women, with discounts to the local community. Young people, local butchers and local communities are engaged in the implementation of the project which creates a sense of ownership of the environment for the project which makes the model highly sustainable. The project capital budget is USD 500,000. The investment pay-back period is 2 years and the productive lifetime of the plant is 15 years. The return on the investment is enormous from a lifecycle perspective. The concept is a model that can be implemented in most developing countries where unabated pollution threatens citizens’ health and the need for affordable energy runs high. Dr. Adelegan is set to open the first prototype, with two other sites quickly to follow, by April 2008.
As a social entrepreneur, I want to see a wholistic approach to global environmental problem. An approach that addresses climate change and global warming thesame way that lack of access to potable water and sanitation, indoor air pollution and water pollution is addressed. I am passionate about a need for an increasing spirit of global environmental citizenship.
I have a passion for the most vulnerable of humanity, those who rely heavily on land and water for their daily existence and are expected to feel the brunch of climate change. I am convinced that climate change is the greatest market failure in human history. As a matter of fact, climate change may become the greatest social injustice for future generations.
The intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has provided some of the most reliable reports on the observation of actual changes, and the forecast of future changes and their consequences. There are apprehensions that Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia will be worst affected. Despite her tiny contribution to climate change, Sub-Saharan Africa is one of the most affected regions of the world. The continent is highly exposed to geographical changes and its structural weakness result in higher vulnerability to climate change.
There is a need for an increasing spirit of global environmental citizenship, a desire to address climate change as a matter of common concern for all humanity. By engaging this new consciousness, we not only stimulate a new green market, but also reduce the threats that rising emissions pose to rural communities.
Dr. Joseph Adelegan, a Chartered Civil and Structural Engineer earned a PhD in Civil Engineering from the Nigerian Premier University, the University of Ibadan, Nigeria. He is an Ashoka Fellow; an Inventor-Entrepreneur supported by US based Lemelson Foundation, a Salzburg Fellow, a Royal Government of the Netherlands Scholar, a 2006 Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum, Geneva, Switzerland and a 2007 Revolutionary Mind Award Recipient of the SEED Media Group, New York, USA. He also holds an MSc and BSc degrees in Civil Engineering. He also earns a Postgraduate Diploma in Structural Engineering and an MBA degree specializing in Business Finance.
He is an Alumnus of the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, Cambridge and the University of California, Berkeley, USA. He is the Founder and the Executive Chairman of the Global Network for Environment and Economic Development Research, a front-line African citizen sector organization (CSO) organization involved in environment and sustainable development issues.
He has about two decade of professional experience spread across engineering consulting on internationally financed (World Bank and African Development Bank) water and sanitation projects, construction, project management, research, public service, university lecturing, policy advocacy and social entrepreneurship.
Dr. Adelegan was appointed into public service as the Project Director for the US $200 million World Bank Assisted Lagos Metropolitan Development and Governance Project in January 2006. He had a brief stay in academics and research between 1999 and 2001 teaching undergraduate class at the Department of Civil Engineering, University of Ibadan, Nigeria. He was a Faculty of the UNU-ILA, Amman, Jordan and UNU-INRA, Accra, Ghana jointly organized course on ‘Leadership for Natural Resources Management in Africa” held in May 2007 at UNU-INRA, Accra, Ghana.
He is in great demand as an international conference speaker. He has attended and presented papers at international conferences in Africa, Asia, Europe, Middle East and North America spreading over 36 countries of the World. He is a recipient of several international research grants, awards, fellowships and scholarships on environment and sustainable development issues from the United Nations, United Nations University, World Bank, International Foundation for Science, OECD, IDRC, German Federal Ministry of Research and Education (BMBF) and The Council of American Overseas Research Centres among others.
In 2001, he pioneered the first Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) project in Nigeria dubbed “Cows to Kilowatts”. The project is abating water pollution, improving human and ecosystem health, mitigating greenhouse gas emission and creating cheap source of domestic energy with environmentally safe organic fertiliser from slaughterhouse waste through the installation of sustainable biogas plant. The project is a winner of the prestigious 2005 Supporting Entrepreneurs for Environment and Development (SEED) International Awards (www.seedinit.org). SEED is supported by IUCN-The World Conservation Union, UNDP, UNEP, GPPi, VRom, Global Compact, Swiss-Re, the Government of United Kingdom, Germany, Netherlands, South Africa and the United States of America. The initiative is also a recipient of the Global Social Benefits Incubator (GSBI) Scholarship at Santa Clara University, California, USA.