Waste into wealth

Imagine if we could turn rubbish into money and improve the environment at the same time!

Thank's to Awamu Volunteer George Cole's plan to turn waste into weath, our womens group (Tusitukirewamu ) in Bwaise were able to gain support from Mercy Corps to kick off this fabulous project.

There is no shortage of rubbish in the slums where are children live.

As George describes, its estimated that between half and two thirds of the city’s 1.5 million population lives in slums, where they have virtually no access to waste management services.

You see people living, eating playing amongst litter and waste.

It's a major contributor to ill health. Rubbish blocks drainage channels, creating stagnant water and leading to the spread of typhoid, malaria and other waterborne diseases.

During the rainy season this causes flooding, which in turn leads to incidents of drowning or destruction of property.

Waste that isn’t thrown into the streets or drains is often burnt – a major source of air pollution that contributes to respiratory disease in one of the world’s most overcrowded and congested cities.

This project, lead by Amos (pictured), encourages youth to be part of the solution in their community and earn a living.

The group meets every week to take part in community clean ups, collect all plastic waste which they store and sell on at 400 ugx per ton.

We currently have 18 children involved from 8 to 18 year, all of whom are now saving indvidually and as groups. The plan is that they will then go on to invest some of their savings in to other joint businesses to generate more income for each other.

Uganda has one of the youngest populations in the world, with 77% of its population being under 30 years of age.

The unemployment rate for young people ages 15–24 is 83%.[10]  and this rate is even higher for those who have formal degrees and live in the urban area where we work.[11]

This is due to the disconnect between the degree achieved and the vocational skills needed for the jobs that are available for workers.

This project is already helping the community, improving the envoiroment, creating income, driving savings and developing enterprise skills in young people we can't wait to see how it developes.

Read more about George’s big plan to turn waste into wealth here.