EcoWerf organizes intensive internship for Rwandan partner company



Sustainable partnership between EcoWerf and Agruni leads to an internship in Belgium


During the first cold days of December, EcoWerf, an inter-municipal environmental company in the Belgian province East-Brabant, opened its doors for the Rwandese waste processing company Agruni. Jean-Paul Shiraniro, Jean Marie Munyentwari en John Furaha from Agruni were lucky enough to follow a two-weeks internship at EcoWerf. The internship programme that EcoWerf had developed, exactly met the current and future needs of Agruni.

Agruni, a Rwandan company collecting waste, wants to transform garbage into energy.

What’s garbage for one is energy for another

in Rwanda

The Rwandese company collects almost 75% of all the garbage in Kigali. 80% of this garbage is organic waste. Although pure organic waste can be an important raw material for the production of compost, this method is not yet put in practise in Rwanda. In a country were 90% of the population depends on agriculture, this provides a big opportunity.

Therefore, it may not come as a surprise that EcoWerf focused mainly on training the 3 Rwandese in compost techniques. Moreover, EcoWerf also facilitated visits to other companies and gave an introduction to their other waste activities as an inspiration for possible implementation in Rwanda.

Intensive internship for 3 staff members of Agruni

The internship started with an intensive site visit of EcoWerf in Herent, followed by a workshop with the 3 staff members of Agruni, some experts of EcoWerf  and some experts from Exchange to execute a SWOT analysis about the present waste treatment policy of Agruni. Long and short term objectives for Agruni were also determined.

On the second day, EcoWerf experts Dirk and Michaël revealed all their secrets about compost. There was also ample time to visit a recycling parc. Veronique from EcoWerf organised a session on safety procedures in waste collection and treatment.

Later that week, EcoWerf employees Machteld and Ellen shared information on raising awareness and communication. This was also very valuable input for Agruni: how do you convince the Rwanda population to sort their waste at the source in order to get pure organic waste which is suited for compost?

During the second week, Jean Paul, Jean-Marie and John got the chance to join a waste collection round, an experience that they and the employees of EcoWerf won’t forget easily.

Ecowerf also facilitated a meeting with Vlaco, a non-profit organisation that supports and implements the policy of biowaste in Flanders. Furthermore, there was a visit planned to Van Werven, a company with lots of expertise in plactic waste treatment.

A sustainable partnership

After two intense weeks with lots of impressions and new ideas, Jean Marie, John and Jean-Paul now return to Rwanda to implement this newly gained knowledge. They will be coached and mentored by EcoWerf in the future as well. Exchange is looking forward to next steps in this sustainable partnership and is curious to see how Agruni will help develop the waste treatment policy in Rwanda. We would like to thank all employees of EcoWerf and coach Wouter Jansssens for their commitment and enthusiasm!


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