"Where there's muck there's ..."
Updated: Mar 7
My grandparents used to say "where there's muck there's money" and in Kibera there's certainly plenty of "muck". Specifically, a lack of any form of refuse collection, and little sanitation are two of the major challenges faced by residents there.
A lack of proper waste management in the slum not only creates unsanitary living conditions but also poses a health hazard to residents. However, it also presents an opportunity, and recognising this, the NC Kibera Drug Abuse Restoration Programme has established a unique waste management service.
Having identified members of their community that are willing to pay for refuse collection, and with a grant from the UK to purchase a hand cart, they have set up a microenterprise refuse collection and disposal business which in addition to addressing waste in the slum, also provides paid employment to the young people who are participating in the restoration programme. They are paid each week for their time on the job and most also elect to have a portion of their remuneration put into savings for their future.
Initially purchasing and using expensive black refuse bags the Restoration Team struggled with the cost but also recognised the environmental impact of single-use plastic. They are now beginning to use lidded dustbins which of course are multi-use. But at a cost of 2,300 Kenyan Shillings (£15) each, they are not cheap, but will provide a return on investment over their lifetime as well as providing a better service for their clients. The profits from the business will enable them to invest in more bins and slowly build their customer base.
* Drugs, Crime Zii = Zero Drugs, Zero Crime.