NAKURU: When Eric Wayua, a former street boy from Nakuru, began collecting and selling plastic bottles, many considered him hopeless.
They had seen some try their hand in the same business but they had failed.
It was only a matter of time before he fell into the trap of drugs and crime, they believed.
But the 27-year-old Form Two drop-out had his plan well-drawn and only needed time to prove his critics wrong.
"I was unable to continue with my secondary education because my mother, who did menial duties to feed our family of three, would not raise the fees. When she told me there was no money, I understood what she meant. I decided to fend for myself and assist her in feeding us," says Eric.
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In early 2013, he saw an opportunity in collecting and selling the bottles. The empty bottles were everywhere as the town's garbage disposal programme was dysfunctional.
"I knew people who were buying used bottles. I started collecting in sacks and delivering to them at the end of the week. It was not much but the little I got helped my mother in taking care of us. She could sometimes assist me in delivering the bottles. Suddenly, our life depended on this humble business," he says.
The business had its own share of challenges. He spent long hours in the streets collecting the bottles. Most of the time he was dirty but this did not bother him.
"Some days, I slept in the streets waiting for consumers to throw away bottles from restaurants," he says.
Despite this, Eric has something to smile about.
A small portion of land he leased with income from the bottle business is giving him and the entire family a life.
"We are now growing and selling green vegetables. We supply to two secondary schools. We are planning to buy and expand the farm."