More than 180 countries participate every year in the World Clean-Up day with the goal of cleaning-up illegal waste and raise awareness on this serious issue among the local communities. In Tanzania, 15 regions were up for this coordinated by Nipe Fagio and Njombe could not fall behind; SHIPO, together with Njombe Town Council and CEFA decided to organize this event for the second time in Njombe town.
Kwivaha street was this year’s selected site: the neighbours dump their waste to the river and fetch water from it for household uses. Although the waste collection truck passes through the street 2 times per week and they conduct clean-ups every last Saturday of the month, the river is normally full of waste.
It was a foggy and cold Saturday morning in Njombe and at 7:30 am everything was prepared on the site and the organizing team was ready to welcome the participants. Little by little, people started to show up and after being registered and taking a pair of gloves and a bag, they started to get down to work.
Within 2 hours, the truck was almost full: 83 participants managed to fill in 97 bags of waste, around 1,350 kg. However, the amount of waste present in the site was so big, that after the event, there was still a lot of trash remaining along the river.
A small team of organizers conducted a Waste Audit and Brand Audit (WABA) of the 10% of the bags collected in order to check the most common waste types and brands/manufactures of the waste present. Those data were sent to Nipe Fagio so that they compile all the data nationally and advocacy actions can be taken. By far, the most abundant waste by item was plastic beverage bottles. Cardboard, plastic bottle caps and nylon sheets were also found in large number. Then, diapers, glass bottles, sanitary pads and clothing items followed. Regarding the brands, Coca-cola kwanza was the company responsible for most of the waste items audited, followed by Bakhresa Food Products Ltd, Njombe Chemchemi (belonging to African Benedictines of Hanga) and SBC Tanzania Ltd in that order.
We believe that this kind of events have a lot of potential to sensitize the community about the issues related to improper waste management. In addition, getting the WABA data is also crucial as a basis to demand policy-related decisions nationally. Hongera Njombe!
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