Promoting Health & Equality Issues in Kenya

by Peace Winds Japan
Promoting Health & Equality Issues in Kenya
Promoting Health & Equality Issues in Kenya
Promoting Health & Equality Issues in Kenya
Promoting Health & Equality Issues in Kenya
Promoting Health & Equality Issues in Kenya
Promoting Health & Equality Issues in Kenya
Promoting Health & Equality Issues in Kenya
Promoting Health & Equality Issues in Kenya
Promoting Health & Equality Issues in Kenya
Promoting Health & Equality Issues in Kenya
Promoting Health & Equality Issues in Kenya
Promoting Health & Equality Issues in Kenya

Project Report | Mar 26, 2024
Will Garbage Save the Refugees?

By Peace Winds Project | Project Organizer

Located approximately 800 kilometers northwest of Nairobi, Kenya's capital, in the arid region reminiscent of midsummer climates, lies Kakuma. This area, in Turkana County, perpetually grapples with issues of water and resource scarcity. Within this harsh environment reside approximately 370,000 people, including about 280,000 refugees from over seven countries, in the Kakuma Refugee Camp and the Kalobeyei Settlement. Over the past 32 years since the reception of refugees began, they have expanded into massive refugee settlements where refugees use the same markets, public services such as hospitals and schools with local residents. Last year, the government recognized the area as a municipality which includes the refugee population.

As population growth persists, one of the major challenges faced is solid waste management. Common practices include digging holes to dispose of garbage or burning it. Illegal dumping is rampant, leading to the proliferation of huge garbage heaps and scattered waste along roadsides. This deteriorates the region's sanitation, attracting disease vectors like flies, mosquitoes, and rodents, contributing to infections such as diarrhea and malaria.

To address this waste problem, we collaborate with local community organizations to conduct volunteer-led waste collection. Simultaneously, we install public garbage bins in local markets and encourage residents to dispose of waste properly and segregate it. The key to these activities is empowering residents, including refugees, to take the lead in discarding, managing, and teaching proper waste disposal methods. In some areas, convincing residents proves challenging as some of them seem indifferent, only requesting more frequent garbage collection. However, most residents acknowledge the need for action, albeit feeling overwhelmed by the magnitude of the issue. What they need now is the determination to take care of their own lives and dispose of their own garbage. Through trial and error, we are working to create opportunities for residents to change their awareness and behavior, create opportunities for action, and work together to find ways to get people on the same page.

Continuing these services solely through volunteers has its limitations. Therefore, we aim not only for waste collection but also for residents to generate income by recycling sorted waste, enabling them to sustainably maintain waste collection services and keep the area clean. Additionally, we collaborate with the government to develop public services, including waste collection, ensuring equity between local residents and refugees. In the future, we aim to have facilities that will transform organic and plastic waste into new products, and to create a system in which waste can be circulated and recycled within the region.

The potential of waste as a new source of income offers hope for transforming the refugee settlement area in the resource-poor environment of Kakuma. Peace Winds will continue to work with the local community, including refugees, to address various challenges in ways that suit the region.

This project is implemented with the cooperation of the Grant Assistance for Japanese NGO Projects from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the town of Osaki, Kagoshima Prefecture.

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Organization Information

Peace Winds Japan

Location: Jinsekikogen-cho, Hiroshima Prefecture - Japan
Project Leader:
Jangwoo Lee
Jinsekikogen-cho , Hiroshima Prefecture Japan
$168 raised of $50,000 goal
7 donations
$49,832 to go
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