Yet again, it has been a remarkably busy period for WasteAid over the last few months.
We started 2022 with our biggest ever portfolio of programmes starting work in a country entirely new to us, Egypt. Supported by Dow Packaging, WasteAid is facilitating local solutions to dealing with flexible plastic waste in the Aswan area of the country, as well as bringing key stakeholders together in a network approach to tackle the general issue of solid waste management in the country. We have been warmly welcomed into Egypt and are now collaborating with committed and engaged stakeholders from government, private enterprise, community-based organisations and the informal sector. In Spring 2022, we commenced a partnership with Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) in South Africa – we were fortunate to be one of only a handful of organisations that received funding through WRAP’s International Circular Plastic Flagship Projects Competition. This project has been quite a gear shift for us in South Africa and we have welcomed new team members and again new partners in the project. We are proud to be working with both the University of Portsmouth and with the local authority in Mpumalanga State on a feasibility study which will review WasteAid’s whole systems approach to waste management in a rural area. The results of this study will help to inform our work moving forward and this is an exciting step. We are now seeking partnerships that will help us scale this approach in rural South Africa and to build on our findings from this project which comes to an end in March 2023. At the same time, January 2022 saw us commencing our partnership with CIWM in Gambia, continuing our partnership with Bunzl in Cameroon and then moving into South Africa where we launched the Bunzl Entrepreneurial Challenge Fund aimed at supporting young people on the frontline of waste management in townships in Johannesburg. The progress of these projects has been fabulous to see and the dedication of our global team delivering this work is inspiring.
Apart from a much-expanded project portfolio, in May we were honoured to attend Biffa’s Annual Gala that was held for the benefit of WasteAid. This was a fantastic evening and the funds raised will further support WasteAid’s work. In one evening, an astonishing figure of £104,000 was raised. We cannot thank the Biffa team enough for such a fantastic event and an amazing contribution to WasteAid’s funds. It is these types of funds that are critical to WasteAid’s continued success – allowing us to develop new interventions, develop new partnerships and critically implement our projects. We are always ambitious to do as much as we can to deliver circular economy and waste management solutions in the countries where we work and having such a generous general donation allows us to prioritise where we need to spend this money across our principal countries of Cameroon, Gambia and South Africa.
So, it has yet again been a busy year for the team at WasteAid, we are right now preparing to attend the RWM / Let’s Recycle Exhibition at Birmingham NEC. We will have a stand there in Hall 19 Stand R-N183 and would encourage any and all of you who are attending to stop by to say Hello. The team look forward to telling you more of our work and answering any questions that you may have.
Looking forward to the last few months of 2022, WasteAid will be organising a small event to coincide with COP27 in November (more details soon) and the team has a busy schedule of travel ahead of them for the rest of 2022, supporting our international team and projects.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your continued support to WasteAid and our work.