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Three plastic manufacturers are preparing to buy waste directly from Koshe area residents which would be recycled and used as raw material. Previously, these companies used to buy raw material from middlemen, who were the main beneficiaries from such deals.
Oryx International, Techno Plastic Plc and Oxford Plastic Plc are all local companies, which have been buying waste plastic materials to be recycled and used. Oxford is working in conjunction with an Indian company. Working in very close collaboration with the Kolfe Keraniyo Subcity, woreda 1, True Concern for community Development Association, a local non-governmental organization formed by voluntary citizens from all walks of life, has taken the initiative to organize more than 120 women and form seven associations.
Besides lobbying these companies and persuading them to buy directly from these people, True Concern is providing trainings on entrepreneurship and recycling to residents to help them realize the importance of waste disposal and aid them in their interactions with these companies.
“Life has become better for these people, because from what they get from providing raw materials, they can buy what they need. But in the beginning, they never imagined that their life would change like this.” said Esayas Sutuma, Manager of the Association. Previously, waste used as raw material used to pass through more than three chains, he stated. But, by cutting the middlemen out, the residents have become the main beneficiaries and their income has increased fourfold, he asserted. True Concern, which is funded by its members and through the donations of some generous Ethiopians, is established mainly to improve the social and economic situation of the residents of the area. “We have mainly been doing three things,” he informed Capital. “We strive to improve the residents’ health. We teach them entrepreneurship and we at least help them to independently lead their lives.
According to the manager, this association has been furnishing medical and training services for the people around Koshe. “We had twice conducted medical campaigns and have provided more than 1,500 medications and performed surgeries,” he said.
“Actually, our professional members contribute what they can to help out, as we don’t receive any funding from foreign sources,” he claimed. The wastes are recycled and are used to make many things, including shoes, conduits and household materials.
These people, who have been leading a subsistence life but now have a better future, have thanked everybody who contributed to their current success on Saturday March 9, 2013 at a thanksgiving ceremony they held at Koshe. From informal studies we conducted, there are about 200 companies who require raw material from Koshe. We are in fact approaching various companies in addition to the previous three. According to the manager, about 50 percent Addis Ababa’s waste can be recycled. “Through our studies, we have come to know that there’s even room for exporting the processed waste,” he concluded.