n the town of Kitale in Kenya, residents set up a successful project which tackles many of the community’s problems with one ingenious solution: waste management. For more than a decade, Dajopen Waste Management Project has been tackling poverty and unemployment among youths in the slums of Tuwan in Kitale; continuously piling and uncollected garbage that remains an eye-sore in the settlement; the unhealthy environment in which residents of Tuwan live; and food insecurity for poor families. 

The community project focuses on the environmental, social and economic challenges in Kitale and the country at large. It aims at contributing to a cleaner town and preservation of the environment in a comprehensive manner. Our community waste management strategy is implemented through collection of waste materials for production of recycled items and training in alternative livelihood opportunities, waste management and organic farming. It is guided by the Millennium Development Goal 7 that focuses on the promotion of Sustainable Development. 

The project engages in intensive awareness creation of the dangers posed by the over accumulated garbage to the health of the residents especially the children who play with garbage not understanding the dangers involved. Secondly, through training, members come to identify innovations that can be used to take advantage of the population’s high rate of waste generation to create viable enterprises. 

Women are trained in hygienic handling of the waste during collection, processing and turning them into valuable products such as baskets, caps, floor table mats, etc. for sale, enabling them to sustain their livelihood. Men are also trained in recycling biodegradable and plastic wastes and turning them into organic fertilizer and fencing posts.

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