Through its Nature Based Community Enterprises programme (NBCEs), ARCOS values capacity building for its community partners and Community-to-community exchanges to enhance skills and build the technical, leadership capacity. In this framework, ARCOS organised a field visit for the representatives of a coffee farmers’ cooperative (named KOAKAKI) from Kirehe Districts in eastern Rwanda, to learn from Gitesi Coffee Washing Station, a company that ARCOS supported in the journey to get a standard certificate issued by Rainforest Alliance in 2016. The main objective of the filed visit was to learn more about wastewater treatment and composting of coffee pulps using earthworms.
“I am very happy to learn about vermicomposting method used by our fellow coffee station here at Gitesi, it was very interesting to know and we are going to emulate that and supply manure to our members and in the neighbourhood. Most importantly, we learnt about how to treat wastewater from our coffee washing station and we are happy that ARCOS is supporting us to apply this vermicomposting method and to build a wastewater treatment plant”, said Cyriaque Ndikubwina the president of KOAKAKI.
“I am Quality manager at KOAKAKI and I am happy to see these safety, hygiene and coffee quality instructions, as well as small signposts directing to what is being done everywhere (wastewater treatment, non-degradable waste and compost sites, processing machineries, etc.). I think this makes education for workers and farmers more efficient and fruitful and it directs visitors when exploring the CWS. This is something we are going to do soon”, said Jean de Dieu Niyonsaba.
KOAKAKI is one of the partner cooperatives that ARCOS is supporting under a project named “Using Water-Energy_Food Security Nexus to Promote Climate Resilient Decisions and Model Actions in Selected landscapes along Akagera Basin”. funded by Rwanda’s Green Fund (FONERWA). ARCOS supported KOAKAKI to extend its coffee drying beds and coffee washing pits, development of a tree nursery, training in cooperative management, environmental protection and more activities for sustainability to come including building wastewater treatment plant and facilities for water supply to their coffee washing station.