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Migoro man making a living from repairing plastics

By Geoffrey Arich | June 29th 2016
Carilus Obonyo

KENYA: After breaking any plastic material the only option for many is to throw it away, not so Carilus Obonyo.

The 35-year-old from Wan’gchieng village in Migori County has for the past 15 years eked a living out of repairing plastics.

Obonyo dropped out of school in form two due to lack of fees. A relative promised to get him a job in Nairobi and he left for the big city.

He was later abandoned in the city and it was herculean task to raise the Sh400 required to get him back to Migori.

He did eventually leave Nairobi and took with him a new skill - repairing plastics, which he acquired during his short stay there.

“I did not allow my frustrations to interfere with my cause. All I wanted was to be self-independent and I was determined to use my skill to do this,” he said.

His day starts at 8am with the first activity being lighting a fire which is an important job tool. The other materials he uses include plastic waste materials and metal chips among others

“Because I need to use waste plastic material, I often have to search for them in the garbage. This has earned me insults on various occasions,” he says.

Despite being mistaken as a thief and riff-raff, Obonyo always make up to Sh500 on a bad day.

His charges vary depending on the product he is repairing. For plastic chairs he charges a flat rate of Sh50 while basins and buckets depends on their size and extent of damage.

“This job has so many challenges and there was a time I seriously considered quitting but, the fact that I am able to fend for my family from what I do kept me going on,” he said.

The father of five is proud of his achievements, having started with nothing and now being in a position to care for his family. He hopes to save enough and venture into a more lucrative trade.

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