waste management improves livelihoods in Trans Nzoia County.

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Kitale is a town of 220,000 inhabitants, capital of the Trans nzoia district located in the Rift Valley Province. the economy of Trans Nzoia district relies heavily on agriculture and contributes significantly to the national agricultural production and food supply. Kitale is an important market town and commercial hub for the district. most of the residents are farmers involved in subsistence agricultural and horticultural activities. However, livelihood opportunities remain limited especially for some sectors of the population such as women and young people. this leads to insufficient incomes,inadequate housing conditions, lack of food security and access to clean water and energy and broadened social inequalities.

Following increased waste accumulation in Kitale town and its outskirts, David Nginge through their Community based Organization (DAJOPEN) came up with the idea of recycling waste in order to clean the environment and to enhance group members’ livelihood opportunities. This was after attending workshop facilitated by the Ministry of Agriculture and a Kenyan NGO. Today members collect waste locally or buy it from street families, in order to produce and sell recycled items.

DAJOPEN is an innovative organization in various ways including the fact that it is both production and service orientated to the community regarding the training component. Moving on, it also develops, produces and promotes innovative, affordable and sustainable products that improve vulnerable populations’ living conditions in an integrated manner seeking to tackle environmental problems and urban waste problems considering the socio-economic issues of the community. The entire entrepreneurial project is community-initiated and community-driven, including the scaling up and transfer strategies.

DAJOPEN products include roofing and floor tiles made out of recycled plastic, baskets, mats and ropes made of plastic bags; jewelry and briquettes made of paper waste; water filters made of saw dust mixed with clay; fencing posts; organic fertilizers, liquid fertilizers and biocides made of bio-degradable waste materials.

In 2014, the team won the 2nd place of NETFUND GIA under the CBO category which grossed him an entry into NETFUND up scaling programme and later joined NETFUND incubation programme as well. The enterprise also received a decomposing machine from NETFUND which has enabled them to Increase their productivity from 10 tons to 40 tons per season.  Their products have also been analyzed for quality against the Kenyan standards. There has been also a tremendous revenue increase from the sales of the fertilizer from an initial monthly average of KES 20,000 to a monthly average of KES 42,000. Increase in production has also attracted more local farms in the county as key customers boosting the number from 24 to 5o as well as increasing the number of bags of maize from 10 to 38 bags per an acre.

Following the efforts to alleviate poverty, 30 members of the group, including women and young people, benefit from enhanced income generating opportunities and from a cleaner habitat, as well as being empowered to transform their own living conditions. The innovation offers job opportunities to the street families who are benefitting from collecting and selling paper wastes to the group. Similarly, the group has enhanced an integrated impact on the social, economic and environmental conditions of the affiliated groups by selling to them the products and providing training.

So far, approximately 3,000 individual farmers and further 18,000 members of 46 farmers’ groups have been trained through the group. Policy makers, government officials, students and non-governmental institutions with whom the DWM group has collaborated have developed an enhanced awareness of community-led development processes, as well as of environmental, socio-economic and organic farming issues.

The project has environmental management at the core of their operations. The fact that it relies entirely on the re-use of locally available materials, it has directly contributed to changing vulnerable community members’ behaviors regarding waste management and fostered sustainable lifestyles. The project approach also works to achieve a wider environmental impact, as collecting and recycling waste leads to a significant decrease in air, soil and water stream contamination, as well as to the preservation of the local fauna and flora. In addition, the use of recycled construction items and alternative energy sources contributes to decreasing deforestation rates, whilst the dissemination of organic farming methods counters the degradation of agricultural soils on a country-wide scale.

It is crystal clear that waste materials represent readily available resources which local communities and farmers can productively tap into. Their recycling contributes to improving vulnerable communities’ conditions in a comprehensive manner, enabling them to jointly address environmental, economic and social issues.

The sawdust briquettes

Sawdust Briquettes

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sawdust briquettes dried before packaging.

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Are you aware that sawdust can be utilized as a raw material to make charcoal? Yes, at Pak Fab Briquettes this is an opportunity in environmental sustainability and economic empowerment. On average sawdust accounts for about 12% of mill residues generated by sawmills. It is a suitable primary raw material for making charcoal briquettes.

Paul Kairu discovered that industries used a lot of money to run their boilers since they used firewood, bio diesel and other forms of energy which were highly toxic. He therefore discovered that there was a need to reduce Co2 emissions and deforestation as a result of cutting trees for firewood and agricultural waste which was plenty. This was an opportunity as the waste was degradable and acted as a source of biomass.

Pak Fab used to produce an average of 500 kilograms to 1 ton of briquettes but as a result of intervention by NETFUND. Kairu got an automated machine which produces between 5-10 tons per day tons per day translating to 240 tons per month. The cost of production of one kilogram is 6.5 Kenya shillings and records ksh5.5 per kg profit translating to 45.8% net profit margin.

His clientele range from industries with large boilers and schools with a large capacity of students. His dream is to target large institutions with a capacity of 500 to 3000 students as charcoal use in these institutions is high.

Takawiri initiative: The hyacinth paper

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Did you know that hyacinth is far much productive than the crops that have been carefully cultivated by man under the ideal conditions of fertilization, irrigation and pest control? In many states of the world it is a disaster. According to UNEP report, Lake Victoria is experiencing a crisis between aquatic life and the plant. Researches have been done to turn water hyacinth into a profitable crop instead of a serious pest.

Michael Otieno began making paper from hyacinth 10 years ago. Otieno has perfectly perfected his daily routine of going to Lake Victoria in search of raw material. After harvesting the hyacinth it is then cut into small pieces before boiling it to soften it. His main idea of establishing Takawiri enterprise was to provide income and create job opportunities for his community. He has employed 30 people in the quest of transforming lives in Kisumu. The developed paper is used to make business cards, envelopes, gift cards, Christmas cards, notebooks among other products.

Takawiri got a startup capital of 60,000 US dollars grant from NETFUND to facilitate its operations. This has enabled the project increase its production capacity by 400% since its inception. Hyacinth has been a blessing to him and his community in disguise. Edward Orato a local artist who runs a curio shop in Kisumu City is one of the customers of Takawiri papers as he uses them for his artistic work. He describes it as inexpensive, easily available and has a unique texture which gives his painting a unique competitive edge in the market.

Takawiri got an opportunity to showcase his project at the African Summit on Entrepreneurship and Innovation (ASENTI) 2016 themed “Africa rethinking innovation” hence positioning his skills and expertise in the global market.

Takawiri target market include corporates like Jarida craft, Ajiri Tea, Kick Trading Limited, NETFUND amongst others. He also targets events like weddings, academic institutions like universities during graduation ceremonies, secondary and primary schools during exam periods. The initiative turnover for 2015 was sh 250,000 and 450,000 in 2016. More developments are anticipated from this noble project in future.


Miti ni madini

Impacts Of Deforestation Varies By Latitude

Source: http://www.redorbit.com/news/science/1112424671/impacts-of-deforestation-varies-by-latitude/

Do we know how little or big the  human activities we involve ourselves with affect our eco- system in a diverse way? I remember the words of His Excellency Daniel Arap Moi common phrase ” kata mti mmoja panda miwili”. Does that ring a bell in your mind? I presume so as we contextualize the above quote.

As humanity is the high time to recognize the value of resources at disposal by not only caring for them but even going a step further by guarding them as our most valued assets. Am talking about our Trees. we think cutting of trees and selling of charcoal will help us end poverty NO!! and we expect climate change not to be our partner in crime?why don’t we embrace other sources of fuel or rather other sources of earning money instead of degrading our environment.

These are my pointers as environmental activists to encourage us to embrace environmental sustainability:

  • To protect our planet’s natural resources and climate for our future generations.
  • To implement the agenda via a solid global partnership program
  • To ensure prosperity and fulfilling lives in harmony with nature.


Mtetezi wa Mazingira


Approches to curb poaching


It is clear that awareness of this illegal trade of ivory tusks has been achieved at all levels therefore we will need all forms of inclusiveness to make a formidable effort to challenge them.

Collaboration with other NGOs like wildlife direct, civil society groups, KUAPO (Kenya united against poaching) and of course the government which will offer state services for a well-designed advocacy campaign.

Another collaboration that will be essential to us is with the citizens. It is one of the most efficient ways since once they own these efforts then we will face less opposition once we start navigating through some processes.


We know a good research always sets up a firm platform for planning; it can strengthen alliances and build constituencies.

providing facts on how poaching has affected the wildlife conservation efforts and tourism is key  and a pillar to the economic growth of our tourism sector

 Persuasion- lobbying

persuasion methods are key in getting stakeholders on board to have Lobby ,setting up meetings, seminars, forums with government agencies, local and international NGOs affiliated to wildlife and convince them to offer us necessary support including state services to make a successful campaign. Inquiring for the government’s assistance in lobbying the east African countries- which are the ones suffering most from this issue- to Harmonize regional wildlife conservation legislation to combat cross border poaching and smuggling.

lobbying legislatures through their parties to support a bill that will be sponsored by the Parliamentary Committee on Environment and Natural Resources chaired by hon. Amina Abdalla will be key in dealing with the vice.

Media relations

Media has the power to set agenda on issues of societal concern or frame messages to suit a particular call of action. We have to work with the media as a conveyor belt of issues of poaching globally and locally and see how we can incorporate it in highlighting our cause through framing of messages. we need to use the media to get our agenda to the masses using various media channel based on the nature of the targeted audience need to be reached but we particularly intend to use Royal media services as a media partner since it commands a 70% viewership and listenership in Kenya.


The most effective way for people around the world to help stop the killing of elephants in Africa is by financially supporting the people operating on the front line: action-oriented organizations and agencies that are proactively involved with anti-poaching work. Awareness-raising on its own is not enough if it does not lead to real, substantive action.


If ivory becomes socially taboo, so too will its value diminish. But as long as there is a demand for ivory, so the killing of elephants will continue. The most obvious solution is of course to say “don’t buy ivory” and inform your friends why they shouldn’t either. But if you don’t live in an ivory-buying country, you can still impact the situation positively. The ivory consuming nations are well known – write to their Ambassadors in your country and tell them why you believe ivory trading should be banned and that ivory has no place in a modern, civilized society.  Ask them to close down their ivory carving factories, both the government-owned and the privately owned.