Recycling old tyres to make new products is a significant business idea backed up with creativity in the Jua Kali industry.
In Eldoret, Uasin Gishu County, youth are joining the viable business venture which has seen an increase of tyre products in the market.
Speaking to KNA, Eliud Ipaa who is 19 narrates how he ekes out a living using old worn-out tyres and a special self-made type of knife.
“It is a difficult task to make ropes, shoes, and troughs from old tyres but with time and experience, it gets easier. Not many youths like doing this job as they consider it dirty” said Ipaa.
Ipaa says he is able to source for the used tyres at an affordable price enabling him to earn a little interest from the by-products.
In every 10 tyres, Ipaa is able to cut out 50 or more ropes. He sizes the ropes differently based on the customers’ pockets, interests, and needs.
Rope prices according to the budding entrepreneur range between Ksh 50 to Ksh 150. The ropes are sold mainly to Boda Boda operators and people in the markets for tying up goods that are ready for transportation.
On a good day, Ipaa says he is able to make up to Ksh 1000, adding that he is content with his work since it enables him to live and pay his bills comfortably.
Joseph Maingi, 41 on the other hand says he makes shoes from the used tyres and has been in the industry for the last nine years.
Maingi makes the unique type of sandals out of the old tyres which he sells for between Ksh 150 and Ksh 300.
The tyre business is however not all profit as Christine Mutisya who sells tyre basins explains. Mutisya says that the business is a seasonal business as it only booms in January.
The chairman of Eldoret Jua Kali Association, James Kibisua said that the Jua Kali industry has helped in reducing unemployment in the area which in turn reduces criminal activity among the youth.
In addition, Kibisua said that the tyre industry accommodates everyone regardless of education level.
Recycling of tyres has been witnessed in many parts of the country in the Jua Kali sector that employs about 500,000 people.