Kenyans will soon make a living from waste lying around in their houses and place of residence in an initiative dubbed ‘Taka Ni Mali’.
What comes to mind when you look at trash accumulated in your household or even your residential collection point? Dirt, filth, disease and quick eradication of the waste is often the first instinct. The last thing on your mind is where the waste or taka goes to after it is moved from your residential dumping area, after all, it’s someone else’s job to take care of that.
The ministry of environment and forestry in collaboration with Nairobi Metropolitan Services is calling for a change of mindset in a campaign dubbed ‘Taka Ni Mali’, ‘Waste is Wealth’ meant to encourage reduction, reuse, and recycling of waste. The initiative will not only save the fast deteriorating environment but also for monetary gain through green jobs and recycling of waste into new products in what is called a Circular Economy System.
A Circular Economy is the opposite of the linear economy, which follows the “produce, use, discard” model, meaning that we use raw materials to produce things and then throw them away when they reach the end of life. This is damaging to the planet, creating a lot of waste and depleting resources.
The circular economy aims to fight this by recovering and regenerating waste and turning it into new products. In the circular economy, we “close the loop” of raw materials, giving those resources new life by implementing new waste management systems.
Instead of dumping food waste, plastics and general waste in open fields, bushes, or rivers, the trash from the house will be segregated into three parts; Organic waste (foods), plastics, and general waste such as wood, electronics, and medical waste. “Waste is Wealth” aims to identify, develop and deploy technologies to treat waste to generate energy, recycle materials, and extract resources of value for reuse.
By embracing the circular Economy way of life, Nairobi County Residents and eventually Kenyans will enjoy a clean environment that will no longer be an eyesore, filthy, and one that will be free of communicable diseases caused by contamination of air, water, and soil. This will be achieved by adapting responsibility of disposing waste at the individual level, community level, and County level.
This initiative is meant to hold each individual responsible for how they dispose of their waste. For a long time, the mindset has been that elected members of the county assembly, parliament, senate, and other high offices are responsible for waste lying at our doorsteps, roads, fields, and even dumping sites and landfills. It is important to note that policy can only complement individual responsibility and determination.