» »Unlabelled » Brick-making, fertilizer projects ease Karoi solid waste challenges

By James Muonwa

A community-based organisation is alleviating Karoi Town Council's solid waste management woes, amid piling moulds of garbage occasioned by Covid-19 as families remain holed-up in homes thereby generating litter.
Chenai, a grouping of ten youths, is involved in brick moulding and manufacturing of organic fertiliser  using non-bio-degradable and biodegradable waste. 
The project last week received a boost of $285 040 from the Ministry of Women Affairs, Small to Medium Enterprises and Community Development to capacitate it inorder to increase production that would subsequently result in waste reduction and employment creation.
Chenai has been working on waste management in the town since 2014.
The company's operations director, Faith Mudondo said although their organisation has faced myriad challenges with poor and obsolete equipment and limited resources for their two projects since establishment, they continued to soldier on under such constraints to help manage waste. 
"We have soldiered on despite challenges we have faced such as poor equipment. This project is helping lessen the burden of solid waste management by our council," said Mudondo.
The project raw materials are sand, plastics and oil which are moulded into bricks, a move that seeks to help control littering and waste management in the farming town.
At least four schools in Hurungwe district have managed to build classroom blocks using bricks supplied by the project. 
Chenai operates from Karoi dumpsite.
In an interview with this publication, Karoi council chairman, Abel Matsika acknowledged the local authority was inundated with managing solid waste generated in the town, with most of it's residents being vendors who operate at various undesignated places.
This, he said, posed a challenge to refuse collection teams as litterbugs willy-nilly throw away garbage.
"There is need for concerted efforts between council and private players to manage litter to sustainable levels. Also, there is urgent need to enforce by-laws to curb littering.
"As Karoi, we also need to identify new landfills," said Matsika.
Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprise Development deputy minister, Jennifer Mhlanga, said the stimulus package seeks to boost and empower women and small businesses across the nation.
She said while the nation was reeling under the effects of Covid-19, the government had seen the prudence to financially support emerging businesses.
"As a ministry we are administering the Community Development Fund. The reason why we decided to partner with Chenai Waste Management Project is because they have two significant products they are producing which include  bricks made of plastics and organic fertiliser from waste materials.
"The funding seeks to create employment and help manage the environment in the area."
She also encouraged local councils to support small businesses that are working to create sustainable environments.
The money is a revolving fund, which Chenai is expected to repay.
Environmental Management Agency's (EMA) Hurungwe district officer, Pride Rugara hailed Chenai for initiating the project which has helped ease Karoi council's waste management challenges.

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