WasteAid Sets Sights On Supporting Uganda To Address Waste Challenges


Author: Jessica Stickland

Published: 11 March 2024

WasteAid has announced that this year it has expanded its reach into Uganda, launching programmes to support the country to develop a more robust circular economy and to tackle its growing waste problem.  Specifically, WasteAid will be focusing on reducing textile waste through circular solutions and will be expanding its hugely successful ‘wastepreneur’ project which has been positively impacting microenterprises and reducing waste in communities across Johannesburg since 2022.

The charity, which is already active in other African countries as well as India, is able to commence programming in Uganda after securing funding from the UK Government’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) as part of its Sustainable Manufacturing and Environmental Pollution (SMEP) programme and also with the support of long-term partner, the multinational distribution company, Bunzl Plc.

WasteAid is set to launch its successful Wastepreneur business incubator programme this month in Kampala. This 2-year initiative will support women and youth entrepreneurs in the waste and recycling space through providing training, seed funding, and mentoring. WasteAid will help participants improve their earning potential by unlocking value from waste and at the same time work to reduce waste in communities across the capital, diverting it from landfill. The charity’s tried and tested approach has already created hundreds of Wastepreneurs in South Africa and Cameroon.

The new Uganda programme also sees WasteAid tackling textile waste on a large scale for the first time, with a programme specifically focused on imported textiles.  A high proportion of these second-hand clothes for a variety of reasons remain unsold and are discarded and dumped.  It is estimated that 26 tonnes per day of textiles waste ends up in the Kiteezi dump in Kampala.

WasteAid is working in partnership with a national vocational college in Uganda (Management Training and Advisory Centre) and will collaborate with second-hand clothes sellers and tailors, product designers, and manufacturers to explore how materials can be diverted from landfill and recycled into new products such as accessories, clothing, cleaning items, and soft furnishings.  This will be achieved through training, support with infrastructure and equipment and the charity’s flagship innovation competitions.

WasteAid’s CEO, Ceris Bailes-Turner said: “We’re delighted to be extending our reach and impact by opening up a new country programme in Uganda.  Having spent much of the last year exploring the possibility of working in Uganda, we are satisfied that WasteAid will be supporting organisations and individuals who are strongly committed to tackling the waste crisis and to adopting circular economy approaches.  Once again, I am delighted that as an organisation we will be working with governmental partners, community-based organisations and the private sector to deliver our projects.  Our initiatives have already been welcomed by Ministries and national agencies and we look forward to continuing to engage at all levels to really move the dial on tackling textile and plastic waste”.

WasteAid works with communities around the world who are facing some of the greatest challenges caused by the global waste crisis. By providing technical expertise, training, mentoring, investment, and creating circular economy networks it aims to not only find lasting solutions to waste management but also alleviate poverty and reduce the health impact by supporting people to launch green businesses and create job opportunities.