Technical boost for group that makes cash from trash
Posted Wednesday, May 2 2012 at 11:50
A couple that could not get formal employment is earning a living making manure from a dump site in Mathira East District.
Mr Robert Muriuki and his wife Mrs Agnes Nyaguthii Muriuki work at the Karindundu dump site on the outskirts of Karatina town.
They work all day separating organic and inorganic waste. Passersby, who think the couple is a street family, usually cast it a dismissive look.
But the two Form Four leavers say they are satisfied with their job.
Speaking to Money at their work site, Mr and Mrs Muriuki said they have managed to educate their three children at a private school through their earnings from the waste.
They said they can afford to pay Sh63,000 in fees for their children every year from the manure proceedings.
“Some people call us chokoras (street family), but we are not bothered. We are able to pay Sh7,000 a term for each child without fail and we cannot quit this business,” said the 26-year-old Mrs Muriuki.
She added that business might boom one day to enable them to have employees and machinery.
After separating the waste, they accumulate about 4,000 tonnes of manure, which they sell at Sh3 per kilogramme to farmers.
The fertiliser does not stay for long at the site as many farmers are turning to the product, especially during the current planting season.
They said their main problem is lack of machinery to manufacture the fertiliser in bulk as they never run out of raw materials.
Tractors pour waste collected from Karatina town every day. “We even made Sh12,000 during the onset of the rains.
“We could not believe there was so much money at the dump site,” said Mrs Muriuki.
“There is a lot of foul-smelling mud, especially when it rains. When I asked some friends to join me in this business, they said they could not do such a job,” said Mr Muriuki.
According to him, many youths in the area are “soft” and cannot venture into the business. He, therefore, decided to bring in his wife.
Another problem the couple faces is lack of market for their manure. However, they are optimistic since some farmers have realised the high quality of the manure they produce.
Going forward, the future for the enterprise looks promising. A community-based organisation concentrating on environmental conservation has decided to establish a waste recycling plant at the site.
Regionet Resources Self-help Group entered into a partnership with the Karatina Municipal Council to establish the plant to reduce spiralling pollution.