Saluting the Trash4Cash Women!
Trash4Cash is supporting 20 people plus 6 Kwale Plastics Plus Collectors staff who lead the project. Of those recruited, 8 are single mothers with great needs that have been exacerbated by COVID-19 and its impact on the local economy. Many of these women depend on informal work at the best of times but now, during this pandemic, there is even less money available in the community. This has meant they have not been able to offer their services of washing clothes, cooking or providing child care and other ‘unskilled’ work that would normally earn them basic income.
The women who joined T4C are working alongside the men and are equally—if not more—hard working and committed. They are fully engaged and playing their part in keeping Ukunda clean. They have been digging out the waste, wheeling the barrows away to fill bags with recyclable waste, as well as dumping filthy waste into the County’s skips to clean and maintain cleaner drains and roadsides in the Ukunda area. These women even showed up to join with others from the community in voluntary efforts to clean our beaches!
As each of them has expressed their thanks for this project, they have told us how T4C is helping them to provide for their families by covering the basics of food and rent. For these single, divorced or abandoned women, looking after 4 or more children, life is hard! For them, in particular, having paid work twice a week makes a big difference.
As well as the much-needed money they are earning, these women say they are learning the importance of keeping their local environment clean. They have witnessed first-hand just how much waste is produced by people who do not dispose of their rubbish properly and instead just throw or dump it anywhere. In the 5 weeks to date T4C has collected over 7,000 kg – just from the roadside along the Lunga Lunga road passing through Ukunda.
These women say they are now practicing proper disposal at home and actively encouraging their neighbours to manage their household waste better - by segregating and dispose waste appropriately – either in KPPC bins or in the big County skips. This is a positive step forward, but we understand there remains much to do in educating people and households in our communities on the importance and benefits of improved waste management.
Socially, these women tell us it has been good for them to get to know some new people, and to be part of a team working together towards a positive common aim. They hope the project continues for a long time so they can continue to earn and to make a difference in their community. They feel proud to be part of something doing good—and are grateful for the opportunity. So let us continue to support these women and all the people of T4C by continuing to contribute to this effort that’s keeping people and their families healthier, and the environment and beaches of Ukunda and Diani cleaner!
To our many supporters making this possible, we salute you too!