CYNESA held a training workshop on proper waste management between July 1st and July 2nd, 2017, at the Reef Hotel in Mombasa. The training brought together about forty women leaders drawn from different faiths including Christians, Muslims and Brahma Kumaris. A number of speakers facilitated sessions covering different aspects of proper waste management. Allen Ottaro (Executive Director, CYNESA) gave a presentation on CYNESA’s work, explaining what inspires the young Catholics working to address Africa’s ecological concerns.
Janet Awimbo (Global Green Grants Fund Coordinator for East Africa) spoke of the need for women to engage in ecological activities and encouraged participants to network and build alliances that would make it easier for them to play their role in effecting proper waste management projects.
Donald Wagaka from the Department of Environment of the Mombasa County Government described the waste management system of Mombasa County. The county faces challenges in waste management including lack of awareness on the need for proper waste disposal and ignorance on proper methods of waste disposal. He explained the efforts the county was making to address this including encouragement of public private partnership in waste management and devolution of waste management activities to Sub-County levels.
Mr. Stephen Wambua, the National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) County Director for Mombasa described the waste management status of Mombasa County- out of the 875 tonnes of residential, commercial and industrial waste generated per day only 53% is collected, transported and disposed. He challenged participants to utilize the business opportunities available in waste management including the collection and transportation of waste, the establishment and operation of waste transfer/management facilities and the provision of alternatives to plastic carrier bags that the government is putting a ban on.
David Munene, the CYNESA Programs Manager gave a presentation on the 7Rs of conservation: Reduce, Replace, Reuse, Recycle, Recover, Refuse and Reject, Rethink. He challenged the participants to think about their role in waste management by pondering on: Would my maker be proud of what I am doing with his creation? Am I proud of my actions/ reactions? What Will I Do? What Will I Not Do?
Hellen Mugo, a CYNESA core team member took the participants through a presentation on advocacy skills which would empower them as leaders and residents when advocating for proper waste management. She presented various methods and tools that they could apply for advocacy as well as the process they could follow in developing advocacy programs.
Sr. Pratibha Patel of Brahma Kumaris made a presentation on how to connect with our 3 different cores: The I-The ego; the superficial, God –Creator; Source and Nature– the environment; ecology. She challenged the participants to take care of our planet.
The Double Grace self-help group, a women’s group that generates income for its members through recycling projects introduced the trainees to their work through presentations at the hotel and later through a field visit to their work place- Chaani social Hall. They make charcoal briquettes, basket ‘fireless cookers’ and beads for jewellery from ‘waste’ products.
The trainees were divided into three groups based on their sub-counties of residence: Changamwe and Jomvu, Mvita and Mombasa Island, Kisauni and Nyali. Each group was tasked with identifying a major waste management concern in their area and create an advocacy strategy to address this concern. These groups are expected to continue their work even after the workshop, guided by CYNESA.
The workshop ended successfully on Sunday evening, with great feedback on its value from participants, and hope for more active involvement of women in waste management in Mombasa County.
Hellen Wangechi Mugo,
CYNESA Kenya – Core Team Member.