Karachi tackles transport pollution with cow dung

Karachi is launching a Green Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) network that will introduce buses running on bio-methane made from cow dung. The project is receiving funding from the international Green Climate Fund.

Karachi is tackling air pollution and improving public transport in one step: the Pakistani port city is launching a zero-emission Green Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) network that will see 200 buses fuelled by bio-methane take to the city’s streets beginning in 2020. The bio-methane will be produced from manure excreted by Karachi’s 400,000 water buffaloes, according to This Is Place.

Malik Amin Aslam, advisor on climate change to Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, told This Is Place that the project will prevent about 3,200 tonnes of cow manure entering the ocean daily by converting it into energy and fertilizer at a biogas plant. It will also save more than 50,000 gallons of fresh water currently used to wash that waste into the bay.

According to project documents, the project will be rolled out over four years and will cater to 320,000 passengers daily. The BRT will consist of a 30-kilometre corridor with 25 new bus stations, pedestrian crossings, and improved sidewalks, as well as cycle lanes and bike-sharing facilities. Project organizers expect that it will reduce transport emissions by 2.6 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent over 30 years.

The project will cost a total of $583.5 million. The Green Climate Fund will provide $49 million in loans and grants, the Asian Development Bank will provide a loan of $442 million, and the provincial government of Sindh, where Karachi is located, will provide a grant for the rest.

Image credit: Mark Kirchner via Flickr

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