Discolouring climate change: Youth in East Africa push for a circular economy (Part 2).

Discolouring climate change: Youth in East Africa push for a circular economy (Part 2).

Plastic is choking most water bodies in East Africa, polluting the quality of water and infusing tiny microplastics into fish and other aquatic life. This is making it hard for communities to access safe and clean drinking water. Several organizations led by youth around East Africa  are trying to instill the concept of the circular economy among their communities.

In this documentary, we have captured some of the innovations that the young people are taking against climate change. We also aim to inspire other young people to do similar initiatives and activities and at the same time draw the attention of partners that can come and support the work that they are currently doing.

Our quest for innovators takes us to South Sudan, the world’s youngest country where the mighty Nile River runs through its capital city, Juba. Eco-Friendly Limited is a company that operates in Juba and focuses on four areas of waste collection; sanitation awareness, environmental education, fumigation services and cleaning services. 

Reports from UNICEF,  the South Sudan Government and WHO  indicated a cholera outbreak during the month of April, May and June this year in several provinces.

Such outbreaks are catalyzed by sanitation and hygiene deficits in communities, which often lead to environmental threats, such as the dumping of waste.

Andrew and the company have the plan to change this in the capital Juba by starting up a recycling system.

Economically empowering vulnerable groups in the community is key in talking about climate change. Teddy from South Sudan is working with  KONET. Under this project, mothers and young women are trained to make briquettes in order to have a livelihood. The briquettes are made out of trash like papers and other disposed solid material collected in the community. In total, Teddy is working with 53 women and 29 young girls. The members earn money by selling the briquettes in the market.

Read Also; Discolouring climate change: Youth in East Africa innovate climate solutions (Part 1).

The movement towards a circular economy has picked up speed across East Africa led by a network of environmental activists and innovators. By the shores of Lake Victoria in Tanzania, an initiative that started as a university student club has now grown into a Non-Governmental Organisation.

Vitas Audax is from Mwanza Tanzania and he’s the Managing Director of Synergistic Global, a non-governmental organization based in Mwanza officially registered in June 2021. Moved by the negative impact on the environment by human activities, Vitas and his friends decided to act.

climate change
A group of youth from Synergistic Global working to combat climate change

Arthur Mugenda from Tanzania is a manager at environmental management and economic development organization also based in Mwanza. He tells us how the objective of his organisation which was founded in 2005 is to equip women, children and youth with knowledge on climate change.  

Plastic made from fossil fuels also releases greenhouse gases as it breaks down contributing to climate change. But rather than waste ending up in landfills or lakes, Arthur’s organisation is trying to instill the concept of the circular economy among the Tanzanian youth. They encourage the youth to recycle and reduce waste material. 

In neighbouring Uganda, the Eco-Brix recycling plant collects plastic waste from the Masaka region and transforms it into useful household items. The owner, Andy Bownds a citizen of the United Kingdom has also brought on several other young people to manage the organization since its founding in 2017.

Eco-Brixs is now adding value to the collected plastic. The factory manufactures several raw materials from different plastics collected. The community has also benefited from the works of the Ecobrix.

This documentary is by the African Youth Initiative on Climate Change (AYICC) in partnership with InfoNile, supported by the Open Society Initiative for East Africa (OSIEA).

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