Gambian Community Project Helps Women Turn Waste to Worth
Friday, September 18, 2015
In scrubby wasteland tucked behind a bustling market on the Gambia coast, five women in overalls determinedly hammered at small metal cylinders, the din reverberating around the tin-roofed shelter.
They were pressing charcoal-dried mango leaves into moulds to make organic fuel briquettes, which can be used as an alternative to traditional charcoal, at the Gambia’s first recycling training centre.
The women had travelled 20km from Tawto village to learn about waste reprocessing techniques at the Recycling Innovation Centre, purpose built by the newly-formed NGO WasteAid UK and Women’s Initiative – the Gambia (WIG), a local partner, on land donated by Brikama area council.
Five coastal communities are involved in the enterprise, which aims to teach people about good rubbish management and, crucially, how to turn waste into wealth.
In keeping with the spirit of the project, the trainees decided to call themselvesFay Fengo Nafaa-Siyata, which means “making waste useful” in the Mandinka language.
The training gives hard-working women another option as they struggle to earn enough money for their families.