• Team MMB

Bio-Life on the roof of your house: (You CAN do it too!)

Local indigenous knowledge is precious, it is what makes the stuff of life in Assam - at the very least. And local knowledge demands proper usage of space, techniques and sufficient medium so what is happening right now in Assam, is a unique form of aquaculture in a limited space, like the rooftop or terrace. The technique can prove useful for urban farmers who want to cultivate fish for consumption or on a commercial scale but lack the space to do so.

Dr Kashyap, who heads Environ, an NGO promoting waste management and sustainable practices, shares that the technique could be an option in cities, where most people do not have enough land for conventional fish farming.

Formerly a professor of environmental sciences at Lalit Chandra Bharali College and Gauhati University, Kashyap quit his job in the early 2000s to set up an NGO, Environ. It has now turned into a research organisation.

In line with the Swachh Bharat Mission, Environ has been promoting solid waste management and organic rooftop gardening. The environmental scientist Dr Kashyap is known for the award-winning concept of waste assimilator.

Developed in 2005, it is a method that allows households to turn solid organic waste into vermicompost and pest-repellants within a day. Today, over 12,000 people use these waste assimilators and its byproducts for organic rooftop gardening, claims Kashyap.

While he has received a provisional patent for the waste assimilator, he is yet to get the final patent.

The waste assimilator uses a plastic bin or a concrete ring, the capacity of which can differ based on its household or community use. It needs space of at least 2.25 square feet and can be kept inside the balcony of an apartment. In this process, per day, 1-2 kg of biodegradable waste is deposited inside the assimilator for 60-180 days or until it fills up. The decomposition of waste releases micronutrients in liquid form, which is collected.Twenty-five days after this, 100 earthworms are added to the assimilator, releasing ‘vermiwash’ which is collected through an outlet.Two waste assimilators are required for the continuity of the process, so that when one container fills up, you can use the other one.

The man has dedicated space on his terrace in Guwahati to growing 30 organic green tea plants, claiming that it has fetched him an income of Rs 1 lakh. He believes growing green tea can be a profitable venture since it contains epigallocatechin-3 gallate, an antioxidant which helps treat a variety of diseases.

In an era where most cities are grappling with the formation of heat islands, he thinks developing rooftops could be a good measure to tackle pollution and beautify urban spaces.

We wish them the very best in their endeavour, tell us are you going to take it up? Tag us @ManuheManuhorbabe1 on Twitter and on Facebook.

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