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Youths in Embu earn living from garbage mound

WORK LIFE
By Joseph Muchiri | February 13th 2017

Unity for Development Community Based Organisation members in Embu town. Some 61 youths under the organisation earn their livelihood in collecting garbage and recycling it to make compost manure. (PHOTO: JOSEPH MUCHIRI/STANDARD)

More than 60 youths in Embu County have found a source of livelihood in collecting garbage and recycling it to make compost manure.

Every day, they move to various garbage collection points in residential estates, outskirts and markets near Embu town where they heap garbage into donkey carts and move it to a damping site.

At the site, the youths who have been trained on garbage management and recycling, separate the waste and use the organic one to make compost manure that they sell to local farmers.

They use the inorganic waste such as polythene to make fencing posts, instead of burning it, to avoid polluting the environment.

Under the auspices of Unity for Development Community Based Organisation, the youths also advocate for waste separation at source to reduce the cost of managing it.

Their chairman, Peter Mwangi said they also operate tree and fruits nurseries and sell the seedlings or distribute them to various groups during tree planting exercise.

Speaking when the group received Lucy Njura, a senior education researcher as their patron, Mwangi said they make their income from selling compost manure, seedlings and donations from organisations involved in environmental conservation.

"We augment the efforts of the county government in garbage collection and management. It is not easy because the volume of garbage produced daily far exceeds our capacity to collect it," he said.

He revealed that they use donkey carts to collect garbage since it is cheap to maintain and can access areas where motor vehicles cannot.

Ms Njura who promised to donate several donkeys to the organisation hailed the youth's initiative for keeping the environment clean and creating employment opportunities.

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