A consortium of three community organizations is partnering to recycle plastic waste in Bangladesh, an informal settlement in Mombasa.
Pwani Youth Network has partnered with Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) and Women Reducing Adolescent Pregnancy (WRAP) to address the plastic waste menace that has remained a challenge in the area.
Speaking during a community clean-up exercise and a public awareness campaign in Bangladesh aimed at engaging and educating the community on plastic waste management to spur community action and affect consumer choices, CEO and founder Alfred Sigo said the partnership seeks to accelerate the transformation of plastic waste otherwise discarded into the natural environment into a valuable commodity and promote a circular plastic economy.
The synergy of the environmental groups he says will not only improve the livelihoods of the workers in the plastic recycling sector but also have a net impact on the environment.
Sigo further said the plastic recycling value chain will help in addressing environmental pollution and at the same time create employment for the community.
He said his organization has also inspired persons with disability to ensure they are part of the environmental awareness campaign in the community and also taking part in cleanup campaign action.
On his part, John Ooko, Project Coordinator, Voluntary Services Overseas called on the County Government of Mombasa to strengthen waste management practices and to ensure compliance with the solid waste management strategy which will provide a lasting solution in addressing the garbage menace that is choking the tourist resort city.
He further said the county law on waste segregation from the source will ensure a clean, healthy and green environment within the county and improve livelihoods for young people through collecting, sorting and processing waste within the county.
Susan Achieng of Women Reducing Adolescence Pregnancy (WRAP),says her organization deals with collecting discarded garbage which the group later sells to Pwani Youth Network.
She says the garbage recycling project has not only provided employment to the youths living in the informal settlement but also provided an educating platform for awareness of a clean environment for a more sustainable and healthier planet.
Eric Omondi, a youth from Bangladesh slums in Jomvu Constituency says the project has provided employment opportunities to many disadvantaged youth who were hooked on drug and substance abuse due to idleness.
Evans Otieno, a young person with disability says the plastic project has benefited the youth including PLWD and the entire community of Bangladesh slums.
During the cleanup exercise, Pwani Youth Network donated garbage skips to be distributed in strategic points as garbage collection points in the informal settlement.
According to a UN-Habitat Assessment Report of 2019 conducted in conjunction with the County Government of Mombasa, the region produces about 1,000 tonnes of solid waste every day with only 60 per cent collected.
The remaining 40 per cent, it says, finds itself on the streets and illegal dumpsites all the way to the ocean, with some even blocking storm water manholes. Plastic waste, according to the report, comprises nine per cent and only half of it is processed for recycling.
Pwani Youth Network (PYN) an NGO with operations in Mombasa, Kilifi and Kwale counties, advocates for “Kenyan youth progress and prosper” with a mission of “Inspiring the dream of Kenyan youth through all positive change”.