Changing the face of waste

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International Conservation & Clean up Management (ICCM) have organized some events in the previous month, I have picked a few of my favorites and thought of writing a few highlights about them. Mostly because they had a positive impact on the progress and programs of ICCM and the fact that they were very much in line with our 5 year strategic plan.

Among the most exciting ones were the introductory talk at Masintha Waste Transfer Station and the Bishop Mackenzie International School – Mbinzi Government School clean-up day.

THE INTRODUCTORY TALK AT MASINTHA WASTE TRANSFER STATION

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The objective of the event was to introduce the team of ICCM to Our World International (OWI) and it involved all key figures from both organizations and a representative from the Government in the Environmental Affairs Department. ICCM gave some introductions and prompted OWI to give a tour around the facility. ICCM then facilitated a meeting to discuss factors affecting the progress of the WTS and how best to approach them. It’s amazing how dedicated the OWI women are and the effort they have shown to make compost out of the separation of general waste. Not only that but they managed to grow maize using the compost showing good example of the product and therefore managed to sell it to the local community of Kawale. They also separated different recyclables and sold them to interested people from the area. From my perception, I could tell that the women realize the importance of creating a waste value chain in order to benefit from their work, only that a few constraints like theft, lack of markets, lack of innovative ideas, and many more make it hard for them to get the most out of the WTS. Following such factors it was resolved in the discussions that ICCM should organize education & mobilization workshops with waste innovators to start training the women on a weekly basis creating innovations out of waste.

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It’s now week 4 after ICCM innovators started training OWI women on various innovations. The women came up with their own action plan proving which innovations were most necessary to them.

  1. Paper jewellery
  2. Bottle cap containers
  3. Paper briquettes

Some classes took two weeks to ensure the ladies obtained the information of how to create the innovation with a professional finish. I went to the paper briquettes training and the ladies were taught to experiment with different mixes of biomass including soil, rice bran, saw dust and paper. Each type will give different amounts of energy depending on its constituents. In the next class the women will have to experiment with each type to determine the most efficient briquette mix. With a small test we have observed the next class to be designing and building an efficient energy stove with the women.

 

Briquettes have struggled to compete with the traditional firewood and charcoal burning in the villages, with good experimentation and an efficient final product the OWI women will sell the briquettes and reduce deforestation. The marketing strategy to promote the product throughout the community of Kawale with the help of the chiefs will help to create a shared platform for the environmental product to succeed.

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I think it is fascinating how each education class leads to more ideas for the WTS development including a recycled water pump using the rope and wash design and gutters made out of juice cartons for good water catchment in the compost toilet and a washing facility made out of drums for good sanitation.

Before the introductory talk both parties struggled to communicate and understand each of their roles in the development of the WTS. It is now clear both of us are working together without further challenges.

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