By Stephen Okwany:
Filthy environment at Manyatta, Nyalenda and Obunga slums in Kisumu is a norm. But a Community Based Organization, (CBO) Gasiapoa Waste Management Services has decided to change the filthy slums to clean haven.
Gasiapoa chief executive Dickens Hillary Ochieng says they work closely with the community to ensure waste is disposed off at designated areas. He adds they are supported by a local NGO, Umande Trust, under Sustainable Environment and Community Development (SECODE Project).
“We have created Waste Management Teams in all four slums in Kisumu. We coordinate with the teams to organize sensitization campaigns on modern methods of waste disposal and management.” Explains Ochieng. He adds this has caused other organizations to come together and help us with the campaign.
Ochieng says, the support from secode helped them to revive the then Manyatta Solid Waste management and renamed it Gasiapoa waste management services. This has not only helped them financially, but also helped the community realize waste is not just a mess but can be source of income. We pay our staff Ksh.5000 per month. We have also insured them with a medical cover because we care about their health.
The CEO says they distribute eco litter bags to their clients at a fee which varies with the type of client being served. Waste is collected from the site where the eco bags are left, and it is then transported to a storage site. Then waste goes through a process recommended by the organization.
The plastic waste is separated from the rest and sold to recycling companies like BAMATO located at Nyalenda area. The wastes go through treatment process using a chemical known as Bioactive Microbes, which help in quick decomposing to form compost manure. The chemical helps reduce the strong stench originating from the waste which in turn reduces the number of flies around the storage site giving it a pleasant look.
After a short storage period, the waste which does not decompose is transported to a dump site designated by the Municipal Council. Emmah Owuor, a resident of Manyatta, told our reporter that the project has really helped to curb the problem of littering.
“Clean environment begins with you, it is your responsibility to take good care of the household waste in order to have a clean environment,” says Owuor. Gasiapoa CEO hopes that come 2030, waste managers will be the most paid persons in the country.