“Mazingira Safi, Afya bora”
Mathare Maji Mazuri Youth Group garbage project (Green Heroes) has made a tremendous step in its mandate of cleaning the environment. In the recent past we have been able to clear a couple of dumping sites in Mathare Bondeni area as well as unblocking the trenches to pave way for stagnant water which breeds mosquitoes and other pests.
The number of houses that we distribute plastic bags has since increased from 30 to 60 households. This has been possible because of the 20 dedicated youth members who work around the clock to give on time services to the community. The consistency with which we work and the discipline shown by the youths while conducting this exercise has also helped us big time. We have in turn been on the verge of working with other groups from within Mathare and this are; Bondeni ladies, Sare moja and the Mwelu foundation hence this has proven to be worthwhile course.
The community embraced the idea of the project from the onset and has since been very supportive and cooperative. They commend the work done by the youths and are ready to offer advice whenever need arises. The group has created a good rapport between them and the community and that has helped to advertise the other projects in the organization, we are thus thinking of appreciating our customers through giving them some incentives.
We started by charging Kshs. 20 per polythene bag but later reduced to Kshs. 10 per bag after agreeing with the community members. Since the beginning of the year 2012, we again resorted to charging Kshs.20 per polythene bag. The most urgent need for this program though is the equipments and resources to organize trainings to the members so as to facilitate a smooth transition of the project to a recycling plant in the near future.
The money earned by the project is still minimal and cannot sustain itself at present but plans are underway to make the project self-sustainable. Parallel to the garbage collection, we also sort out the garbage for any recyclable materials like plastics, metals, bottles e.t.c. Which will be sold to the scrap dealers and that is a booming business nowadays. In line with this, we have prospects of having a recycling plant so as to cut a niche. A store for the recyclable materials was not so long ago erected; this has helped ease congestion at the ICT centre.
Courtesy of one of the youth members (Julius Kamau) we have spread our wings hence; we are humbled to collect garbage every Saturday from a local bank at Eastleigh, this for sure is a major boost to the project and we have put ourselves to task to see that we also sell our ideas to other cooperate societies.
We are looking forward to have with us the machinery that will see us through making fire briquettes and with this regard; Daniel Wainaina and Victor Kebane attended training on how to make the fire briquettes. A proposal was written seeking for the machinery and we are yet to get feedback on the same. Fire briquettes are environmental friendly and cheap charcoal made out of charcoal dust mixed with shredded papers soaked in water. They are compressed into round shapes with pressing machines, dried and ready for use. Talk of conserving the environment.