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Introduction of Black Soldier Flies by Meru County wins global recognition

Introduction of Black Solder fly (Hermetia illucens) by County Government of Meru as a way of managing waste has finally won them global recognition.

Last month (June), Meru Municipality emerged as one of 50 Champion Cities selected as finalists in the 2021 global mayors challenge, a global innovation competition that identifies and accelerates the most ambitious ideas developed by cities in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Black Solider Fly (Hermetia illucens). Photo courtesy

The 50 urban innovations rose to the top of a competitive pool of more than 630 applications from 99 countries, in the first-ever Global Mayors Challenge.

As a finalist in the competition, Meru has advanced to the four-month Champion Phase of the competition.

From June through October, the 50 finalist cities will refine their ideas with technical assistance from Bloomberg Philanthropies and its network of leading innovation experts.

About 15 of the 50 cities will early next year win the grand prize, with each receiving $1 million and robust multi-year technical assistance to implement and scale their ideas.

“These 50 finalists are showing the world that in the face of the pandemic’s enormous challenges, cities are rising to meet them with bold, innovative, and ambitious ideas,” said Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg LP and Bloomberg Philanthropies and 108th mayor of New York City during last month’s visit to Meru County.

The 50 Champion Cities submitted ideas addressing four of the most significant challenges borne of the pandemic: Economic Recovery & Inclusive Growth; Health & Wellbeing; Climate & Environment; and Good Governance & Equality.

A prestigious selection committee co-chaired by Bloomberg Philanthropies board member Mellody Hobson, Co-CEO & President, Ariel Investments, and David Miliband, President & CEO, International Rescue Committee assessed the applications to determine the Champion City finalists.

By helping these cities test their ideas over the coming months, he added, we will have a chance to identify cutting-edge policies and programs that can allow cities to rebuild in ways that make them stronger and healthier, and more equal and just.

Meru Municipality proposes to apply the use of a Sustainable Solid Waste Management (SSWM) for a clean, green, healthy, and sustainable environment in line with the Meru Vision 2040 development blueprint, for a Prosperous United and Happy Society.

The proposal involves a Bio-Waste System that would use the Black Soldier fly (Hermetia illucens) larvae to feed on Meru’s 130 tonnes waste, of which, about 80 per cent is organic.

This in turn will provide the much-needed protein-rich animal feed for both the county fish and poultry projects, and compost manure as the by-products.

Additionally, the programme will provide over 5,000 direct and indirect jobs across the county.

“As the County Government of Meru, we are greatly humbled to be part of the 50 finalists in this year’s Bloomberg Global Mayors Challenge.

By Dickson Mwiti

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