Green money everywhere, lessons from Nakuru

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Green money everywhere, lessons from Nakuru
Dr Ayub Macharia

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Have you ever got disturbed seeing many young people idling in urban centres doing nothing? From morning to evening, these young people engage in worthless dialogue, justifying their idling to unemployment. What is left for them to do is to spy on anybody passing by, discuss them, and plan evil things in case the passer by is seen to be progressing well. Many of these idle youth have gotten into taking drugs, robbery and other social evils.
Yet within the vicinity, are heaps of litter disposed irresponsibly making the place dirty. The public add onto this waste daily and hence heaps get bigger and bigger. To the eyes of the public, the county government and NEMA are expected to intervene, collect and dispose the waste. In other words the role of the public is to litter while government agencies should clean up the mess.
In Nakuru County, a 41 year old widow has come forward to demonstrate that garbage is green money. For more information, visit this link
This venture enabled her to employ 26 people, pay school fees for her six children besides settling other bills. She could be one of the budding millionaires in Kenya. Its interesting to learn how her business started small and grew into a big enterprise that owns compressing and grinding machines. When I read her story, I did not get the impression that she is one of the very educated Kenyans. I may be wrong but thats my opinion.
In my earlier story, I indicated that China is a big market for plastic products which they use to make clothing, among other items. See this link
This lady from Nakuru sells 14 tonnes of plastic waste to a Chinese company. This waste comes from only one site, Gioto dumpsite. Other sites have similar opportunities which have not been tapped.
This story from Nakuru should be shared widely and unemployed youths encouraged to venture into similar enterprises. Why should they sit there lamenting about unemployment while they are educated and the government has given out Uwezo fund, CDF and other county funds which could be used as startup for these kind of enterprise? Some of the youths are well educated and can start ventures that go beyond this Nakuru case study.
All major urban centres have dumpsites and hence can offer similar opportunities to the youth. According to the State of Environment (SOE) Report of 2011 by NEMA, Nairobi city generates 2,400 tonnes of waste daily whereby an average Nairobi resident generates 245Kgs of solid waste annually. However, only 60% of this waste is collected and the rest is left to rot and litter the city causing environmental degradation and health hazards. The situation is not any better in other towns. The SOE Report 2011 states that small urban centres have almost no waste collection services.
Hey, lets learn from Nakuru and do something in our neighborhood. There is a lot of waste lying out there, which can be exploited to make green money. In the process we can create jobs for many youths and help promote green sustainable economic growth.
Chebet, C. (2014, January 21) Entrepreneur tuns Nakuru dumpsite into a money maker. Daily Nation. Retrieved from
NEMA (2012) State of Environment Report 2011. NEMA, Nairobi

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