Welcome to the Marine Mammal and wildlife Research and Community Development Expedition blog where you can keep up to date with all the happenings and information from Kenya

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Smoke from the Shimoni

Waste management in Africa is not as you know it. The garbage truck does not come on Tuesday morning and bins do not go out on Monday night. The rubbish is not divided into recyclables, waste and organics but into burnables, non-burnables and baboon food.

Waste disposal has been identified by the Shimoni people as an issue of great concern, contributing to the spread of disease and environmental degradation within the community. Identifying an efficient and effective waste management strategy for both household and economic wastes has become a primary objective of the enthusiastic GVI community team. Attempts by the community have been made via council submission. However, these submissions have been unsuccessful; as such the community has asked GVI for assistance in this matter.

-- Waste disposal is a concern for the people of Shimoni --

Currently the people of Shimoni community are required to pay a waste disposal tax to the council for which they are supposed to receive waste disposal services. These services however are not currently being provided. Our priority this week was to identify a number of organisations which may be willing to contribute in the support of waste disposal initiatives in Shimoni. Such organisations include: Kenya Community Development Fund, Practical Action, Naukumart and Safricom.

-- Effective waste management is essential to reduce health issues and environmental degradtion --

To keep the role of the community as the main spokes person on the issue and not GVI, we have developed a lesson (first of a series) based around persuasive letter writing enabling members within the community to make contact with potential contributors.

Previously there has been a tip to the north east of Shimoni. The path to the tip however, has become overgrown and the tip itself has been lost. The contribution of supporters could be potentially used to re-open the pre-existing tip site if it is found and deemed viable. It would also be hoped that waste collection and movement would be undertaken by people from within the community providing further employment to local people boosting the economy within the area.

-- GVI has helped organise weekly community cleanups starting this week! --

If you give someone responsibility to take care of the area they develop a sense of ownership, a respect which will facilitate greater environmental awareness by all people in Shimoni. Weekly community cleanups will continue and next is tomorrow, Friday 8th October. Hopefully encouraging others to look after the area in which they live. For a successful, sustainable and prolonged waste management scheme community involvement is paramount. GVIs role is as a facilitator and educator of skills within the community.

Our first meeting for this initiative will be held this afternoon, Thursday 7th October. Today is also another collection day, the 4th this week; another fire is started, another feast for the baboons.