One community within the slum of Kiberia, Kenya has found a great solution to the problem. They have a community garbage burner that provides multiple benefits. It provides fuel to provide hot baths and can even cook meals. Some jobs are also provided for local youths to collect the garbage from the neighborhood.
From the IPS, writer Miriam Gathigah describes how the energy source cane into existence.
But when they presented their idea to Planning Systems Services Limited (PLANNING) - a group of international architects - to assist them in developing a design, their idea developed into a pilot project that has transformed the lives of many residents of Laini Saba village.
The architects proposed that instead of developing an incinerator that would only heat water for bathing, they could develop a community cooker where the locals pay a fixed fee to cook their food.
As fate would have it, the chairman of PLANNING, Jim Archer, had been developing a plan to address waste management in Africa and was determined to work together with the CBO.
"We therefore went back to the drawing board and bought 500 nylon sacks. We then approached the local chief with our idea and he helped us organise a meeting with the locals. During this meeting we communicated our intention to maintain cleanliness and also to build a community cooker," adds Asanya.
The sacks were distributed to the people with the instructions that once the sack was full the CBO, with the help of a group of young people would come by to collect the garbage in a wheelbarrow, immediately return the sack to the owner.
The garbage would then be deposited at the project site for sorting. "We don’t burn everything," Asanya says. "We sell some of the garbage as scrap and make money from it. Material that can be burnt is then channeled into the cooker and used to generate heat."