We proceed to the the slums of Nairobi south, and here we find a 20 footer container, the social worker opens it and tells me that this is where they store the oil before safe disposal. From here we move deeper into the slum and along the way we bump into the village elder for this area, who is full of praise for the project.
He sites the number of families that are benefiting from the project by collecting even small quantities and delivering to the storage place.
So we visit Mr Evans Mikako, who runs a small laundry place deep inside that slums. He is a perfect example of those who are not motor mechanics, but have been collecting and delivering small quantities to the storage place. After many months of commitment, he had delivered enough that earned him a loan of ksh. 80,000. He invested in the laundry business and also purchased a couple of rental houses in the slums. He owes his shift from rugs to riches to EPSP. After repaying his first loan, he was also able to get a second loan of ksh. 50,000 that he invested in a second business that the wife is managing.
We left this slum and headed west, where i found a huge open air garage with so many artisans, but all with differnt skills. This was more of a group business with a management committee. I was introduced to the officials. Suddenly a crowd gathered, each and every one of them wanted to say something about EPSP, to my surprise, every one who opened their lips was full of praise. One guy pulled a huge machine and wanted me to see.
"So what is this?" I ask. In a some kind of a chorus, they say it is a paint praying machine. We earned this form the oil we had collected. We see our garage is near a river, if all that oil had been poured out carelessly, it would have polluted the river. We did not waste it either, EPSP taught us how to benefit from it and now we have this machine.
This garage alone has employed over 60 youths.
As we left, a couple of them dropped their work overalls and headed for lunch. They called it a business lunch. They were meeting new clients over lunch. As the sound of spanners and hummers faded from my ears, I thought to myself and which I want to share with you - truly this is a unique project that can save the world from global warming.
We visited Sila Nzioki of Kituli Engineers which is an informal garage very near the offices of EPSP and he had the following to say:
" I have been working here for yen years, I am providing employment to 10 people." I notice a blue drum at his garage which is in the open, but the drum is secured with metal bars and secured on a cemented ground with bolts. What is here? I ask.
"This is where we store the used oil and when it is full which takes a bout two and a half months then the project team collects it and fixes and empty tank nad process starts again. We have an account with EPSP where records are maintained and after we have filled three drums, the organizations tropples that and then grants us credit which we pay back by filling more drums of used oil. So far we have managed to purchase tool kits valued at Khs. 13,500. We used the oils as collateral and have so far completed the repayments.
We have also received training and visitors who come and encourage us and at time buy us lunch.
The challenges that we face is operating in the open air. If EPSP could get some grants to construct shelter for us, we would get better returns from our work.
We are appealing to donors to support EPSP, I ask him why? and he casually responds, "they are our life line."
Download and read the full evaluation. Here is an excerpt:
"The major lessons: This project not only conserves the environment, but creates livelihoods for mechanics. Waste can be used for wealth creation. The project is easy to replicate."Attachments: