Working Together for a brighter, cleaner future with Devon Contract Waste
Kibera is one of the largest slums in Africa and despite being located less than three miles from the centre of Nairobi – one of the most affluent cities in Eastern Africa – it continues to grow. In an area of 600 acres it is estimated that one million people live in squalid conditions but despite this they remain exceptionally positive.
One in five children don’t survive beyond the age of five due to the lack of sanitation and the prevalence of vermin, which of course is made worse by the waste built up across the slums.
Most families cannot afford regular meals or education for their children so paying to have their waste collected is understandably low on their priorities, despite the health risks, which is where Devon Contract Waste has stepped in.
As a company we are passionate about recycling and protecting the planet and whilst we want to divert tens of thousands of tonnes from landfill in Devon and the South West, it is vital that we all get involved to protect the environment in other parts of the world too, especially where poverty prevents people from doing it successfully themselves..
How the project will work.
We are working with a local charity in Kibera called Riziki, which oversees the day-to-day running of the project, with our help. We employed four young men who started the project in a village within Kibera with 500 homes. After organising a major village-wide clean up during which all waste was removed from the village, the team, with Devon Contract Waste’s help, is providing a sack collection service for general waste, food waste and recycling, collected on different days in hand carts. The recycling is sold to traders, the food waste is composted to be sold to local farmers and the general waste goes to landfill.
In order to make the service sustainable we have also taken on as our manager a local man who already has a commercial waste collection in the suburbs where he gets paid a commercially viable rate to collect waste. We have supplied him with a 12 tonne refuse truck to replace his hand-cart, so that his commercial rounds can be expanded in other areas of Nairobi, which in turn subsidises collections in Kibera for those who cannot pay.
The project is now fully self-funding and expanding every year, creating jobs, improving sanitation and engendering more respect for the people that collect the waste.
The more waste we can recycle in the UK the more we can do in Kenya.
For more information on the Kibera project and to get a real flavour of day-to-day life in the slum, we recommend you read this article by Riziki Safi Services, our partner organisation in Kenya.