Shewanesh Wendimu (also known as Shewa) was born in Dessie in 1992 but after a few months she came to Addis Ababa. She attends all her classes in Addis, and parallel to this she is also part of the art & theatre association in the city. She teaches the youths about HIV; sexually transmitted diseases; and reproductive health through drama, dances, and music. After Shewa finished her preparatory classes she joined Wolkite University to study food process engineering. Her thesis was to study and produce infant food from bulla, chickpea and banana flour, which is used to prevent kwashiorkor (also known as edematous malnutrition). Currently, she is working on her own company, who work on processing food wastes into chicken feed. She also produces jams of fruits from tomato, mango, papaya, and others to prevent and preserve food wastes. In her spare time, Shewa likes doing physical exercises in the morning; watching movies; reading books; having conversations with talented people and traveling.
Today methane is also one of the leading pollutant gases next to carbon dioxide, so we ensure our process doesn’t emit any pollutant gas. If we took ‘food waste’ as a country, it would be the third largest emitting pollutant of gas next to China and USA, so processing food waste without emitting any pollutant gas is vital to combating the climate crisis. 30%-50% of all food produced is “lost before reaching the human stomach”, yet we face food shortages. Reusing food waste can solve the shortage of food that the world currently faces. We will also provide enough feed (378,000 quintals per year) to the market as the input of production could be accessed easily.
MOTIVATION FOR AND COMMITMENT TO CREATING A BETTER AND MORE SUSTAINABLE PLANET
My mother always complains about the smells on every road in Addis. When she goes to church, to the market, anywhere she smells this irritating smell - and she told me ‘you have to work on this issue’. She said as an educated citizen of the society I had to find the solution for this problem for society. So, after thinking about it for a long time I came up with this project.
When you live in a city you better understand the value of having a clean, hygienic, and comfortable environment. In the city the environment is not clean; you smell bad things wherever you go. So when you spend some time in a rural area you feel comfortable and healthy. When you go around in Addis you smell terrible smells from dropped food waste on every corner; and this waste also contributes to global heating. So we started to work out how to overcome this and change it into an opportunity.