Amref Health Africa in Tanzania has moved out to engage Dar es Salaam women and youth from disadvantaged backgrounds to earn livelihood through collecting garbage and transforming them into charcoal.
The move apart from promoting economic wellbeing of widow females and jobless young people looks to revert the effects of climate change by minimising level of charcoal imported from cutting down trees and causing desert in other parts of the region “We are intensifying the ‘Taka ni Mali na Afya Project’ by training women and youth in Ilala district on skills of turning waste into products like charcoal and other marketable products.
We also teach them entrepreneurship skills for marketing final products,” Said Engineer Mturi James, Amref Africa in Tanzania’s Manager for Water Sanitation and Hygiene.
He said that the project which has already started bearing fruits to the beneficiaries who are from five groups of more than 100 people, have seen them collecting garbage in the city and selling their final products to the markets. Eng. James mentioned that produced charcoal bars are used to meet group members’ household needs as an alternative cooking energy supply, while some are sold to earn income.
They also use ashes to process and produce soap bars. “Apart from training, we are providing these groups with working tools like tricycles for collecting raw materials and concurrently street clean up. We have also helped them build a chimney for concreting the garbage in processing them. So far up to 300 people have benefited in a way or another,” he said.
Ms Tausi Hassan who is the General Secretary of Sauti ya Jamii Kipunguni social groups. said that the training and support from Amref Health Africa in Tanzania has greatly changed not only the way women see garbage, but also generating their income at the same time.
“We are now issuing loans to women members in our group with their savings as the collateral for them to advance economically. The savings come from income generated in the group’s business of selling charcoal bars and soaps produced,” said Mr Elipidius Nyerere, the Director of Kigilagila rafiki group in Kiwalani ward.