From waste to taste

By Francis Kinyua

What do you do with you plastic, metallic or glass bottle after you have your beverage.
Joyce Wanjiku, a 45 years old and a mother of 8 from Kiandutu slums, Thika has a unique way of utilizing the waste bottles. 
Her day starts as early as 5:00 am in the morning and ends as late as 11:00 pm. 
Every morning she has to wake up early before the people who sell bottles makes it to the dust bins. She does the collection up to 8:00 am and she still does the same at late night.
After collecting the bottles she settles down at her site and business starts as usual, constructing a house using the used old bottles. 
Her inability to make ends meet or afford to raise sh. 200 house rent drove her to innovate her own way to survive. Joyce says that the skill is her own creativity, a means to conserve environment and earn a living too.
Joyce found her way to Thika after she was chased away from the streets of Nairobi. With no roof over her head, she opted to devise her own way to ensure that her kids get shelter.
She is so determined that her one-roomed house will soon be complete and become her dwelling place and a tourist attraction. 
Currently, she is camping at the outskirts of Kiandutu slums and sometimes she would go even for two days without food. 0ne thing she is happy about is that she is building her house at no cost though on a public land. 
“I only need mud, water and the bottles which are readily available” she quotes
Though a similar project has been done by Eco-Tech an American construction company, hers looks unique because she uses even glass bottles. 
A similar project was done by a certain Sammy from the Coastal Region of  Kenya.
Sammy did his using plastic bottles after he took an initiative of utilizing the bottles that had choked the Indian Ocean.

“Everything in this house will be made of bottles including beds and chairs” Joyce says.
She is appealing to NEMA to support he initiative as she looks forward to conserving the environment and assisting in making the plastic ban more effective by absorbing the waste.
Joyce has amazed many for her unique style of recycling waste material and with the columns similar to those used in the construction of a storey building. 
Truly she has changes waste to taste.
(The writer is a freelance journalist)
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