Our Logistics Experts – Edwin Kahonge and Fredrick Obwogi
Waste management is a key challenge all rapidly growing cities face. In Kenya, the facts are startling; the 8 million people in Kenya’s slums alone generate 4 million tons of fecal sludge annually. None of which is collected or treated properly.
At Sanergy, we know this situation all too well. We work in a vibrant urban informal settlement called Mukuru. For a long time, the residents have grappled with the unsavoury question of where to dump waste. By and large, the waste is poured untreated into the waterways which causes tremendous environmental and health damages. Fresh Life is changing the face of sanitation in Mukuru. And this happens in no small part thanks to our logistics team, which collects all the waste daily and takes it into a processing plant for conversion into useful by-products.
20-year-old Edwin Kahonge and 25 year old Fredrick Obwogi work in tandem. Every single day, starting at 5am, Edwin and Fredrick navigate through the alleyways of Mukuru to safely collect and remove the waste from 40 Fresh Life Toilets. With the ease of seasoned hands, the pair uses the handcart to traverse the paths that are sometimes rendered impassable by the rain. “Working as a team is of the utmost importance, “Edwin says, “This way, we get the job done faster and thoroughly”. In each Fresh Life Toilet, the filled cartridges are properly sealed, loaded onto the handcart and replaced with clean ones. The toilet is then sprayed with disinfectant to keep it fresh.
Prior to working at Sanergy, Fredrick worked at construction sites in Mukuru. The jobs were however inconsistent and he is happy that he now has a steady income to support his wife. “I have seen Mukuru become more cleaner and collection of the waste is a big part of the solution.” Fredrick is hoping that the kids growing up in Mukuru will live in a much cleaner environment than he did.
Having grown up in Mukuru, Edwin is also familiar with the dire state that was sanitation in Mukuru. He is amazed that flying toilets have been greatly reduced and he is happy to be part of this change. We enquire what motivates Edwin, “As a young person, working here at Sanergy not only makes a difference to my community, it also helps me work towards realising my dream.”
Indeed, in the evenings, Edwin makes his way back home to study. He loves numbers and has decided to go to night school to pursue his dream career – Accounting. Having a steady job at Sanergy has enabled him to pay for his upcoming exams. We hope that his dream does come true!