Meru County is one of 50 Champion Cities selected on Wednesday 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.
These 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 Mayors Challenge finalist, Meru now advances 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.
Fifteen of the 50 cities will ultimately win the grand prize, with each receiving $1 million and robust multi-year technical assistance to implement and scale their ideas. Grand Prize Winners will be announced in early 2022.
“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. “By helping these cities test their ideas over the coming months, 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 more 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 of waste, of which, about 80% is organic. This in turn will provide the much needed protein-rich animal feed for both the county fish and poultry projects, and Bio-fertilizer as the byproducts. Additionally, the program 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. We look forward to working closely with the Bloomberg Philanthropies and other like-minded partners in implementing the innovative, life-changing & all-inclusive programs that seek to uplift people’s lives. The proposed Sustainable Solid Waste Management program is meant to help our people in expediting the journey towards the actualization of Meru’s Vision 2040, which seeks to employ the use of technology in recycling organic waste in the spirit of a circular economy and in turn, make Meru Africa’s first Climate-smart city. ” said Meru County Governor, Kiraitu Murungi.
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.
This is always an especially exciting phase of the Mayors Challenge, helping mayors push their innovations to even greater heights,” said James Anderson, head of Government Innovation at Bloomberg Philanthropies.
“While 15 cities will ultimately take home grand prizes, all 50 cities receive world-class coaching and support to improve their ideas and their potential to improve lives.” He added
The 2021 Global Mayors Challenge builds on the success of four previous Bloomberg-sponsored Challenges in the U.S. (2013 and 2018), Europe (2014), and Latin America and the Caribbean (2016).