The British government has awarded WasteAid funding from UK Aid to deliver a second project as part of the Small Charities Challenge Fund. Working with local partners, WasteAid will set up a waste and recycling centre that will create green jobs and contribute towards a cleaner environment.
The community, Kwa Muhia, is on the southern shores of Lake Naivasha. An informal settlement, most of the 7,000 local residents work on nearby flower farms producing cut flowers for UK supermarkets.
With no formal sanitation or waste management provision, Kwa Muhia is a polluted and unhealthy place to live. The conservation status of Lake Naivasha is under threat from plastic pollution from the community, and agricultural runoff from the nearby flower farms.
International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt said:
“Whether it’s plastics in the ocean or poorly managed waste, environmental issues overwhelmingly impact the livelihoods of the world’s poorest people.
“I’m proud UK aid is supporting WasteAid to help keep Kenya clean, using world-leading UK expertise to reduce the spread of disease and pollution, while creating jobs in these communities.
“Small charities do an extraordinary amount of good in the world. They do not allow their size to limit their ambitions and UK aid’s Small Charities Challenge Fund is there to make sure they get the support they need to help us end poverty once and for all.”
The funding runs until the end of 2020, during which time WasteAid and the local partner organisation Kwa Muhia Environmental Group (KMEG) will have established good practice with regard to solid waste management.
WasteAid’s Jill Matthews is currently in Kenya working with KMEG to gather baseline data and prepare a site for the new community waste management and recycling centre. The local team will organise a waste collection service for a range of materials, and process those materials into useful products that can be sold in local markets.
In addition, KMEG will be running an awareness raising campaign to encourage waste-wise behaviour in the settlement. The community has not had a functioning waste management service until now, and so a lot of effort will be invested in explaining the benefits and the new “rubbish rules”.
Duncan Oloo, KMEG project manager, said: “Waste is a serious problem in Kenya. Thanks to the funding from UK Aid Direct, and support from WasteAid, the Kwa-Muhia Environmental Group (KMEG) will be able to clean up our informal settlement and convert waste into wealth.
“This project will improve public health in the village by reducing diseases spread by uncollected rubbish, especially among young children who play on the waste dumps. We are reaching out to all members of the community to help us and we are working with the less advantaged to help us in our mission towards zero waste.
“This UK Aid-funded project will also stop waste from Kwa-Muhia polluting Lake Naivasha which is an internationally important wetland site. Overall the project is good for people, good for the environment, and makes good economic sense too.”
Jill Matthews, WasteAid project manager, said: “We are really excited to be bringing UK Aid support to the shores of Lake Naivasha. A simple waste management service can have a significant positive impact on people’s lives. We will be working with our partners KMEG to introduce simple and affordable waste management and recycling skills, creating jobs and cleaning the environment for current and future generations.”
WasteAid previously worked with KMEG to produce an action plan to tackle the growing waste menace.
WasteAid is an independent charity set up by waste management professionals to share practical waste management skills with communities in low-income countries.
Around 1 in 3 people globally don’t have decent waste management. Pollution caused by waste harms people’s health and the environment. Plastic pollution in the marine environment is of major global concern, and WasteAid is helping tackle this global problem.
WasteAid works with communities to set up small recycling centres and help keep plastic out of rivers and the oceans. The charity also shares skills in managing organic waste, so that people can make compost and cooking fuel from food and garden waste. WasteAid also trains local trainers so that the knowledge can be passed on from community to community. All the tools and equipment used are simple and affordable, so that recycling and waste management can be accessible for everyone.
The WasteAid team is based in Wye in Kent, and has good links with all the regional CIWM groups and fundraising supporters around the country.
About the project
The UK Aid Small Charities Challenge Fund grant was funded with UK aid from the UK government. It will be used to implement sustainable waste management in Kwa Muhia, creating green jobs and protecting Lake Naivasha from plastic pollution.
WasteAid will train disadvantaged women, youths and people with disabilities to collect, sort and reprocess plastic waste, so that it becomes an economic asset instead of a pollution problem.
WasteAid will training Kwa Muhia Environmental Group (KMEG) in waste management and recycling skills, so that they can create a cleaner and healthier future for their community.