Duration: 12 months (One year) | Place: Kawe Ward, Sinza Ward, Kunduchi Ward, Mikocheni Ward, Tegeta Ward and Ubungo Ward
Environment protection requires innovative and holistic approaches. Poor waste management is one of the causes for environmental degradation through land, water and air pollution. Poor waste management is problem in cities in Tanzania. Therefore, the Environmental, Human Rights Care and Gender Organization (Envirocare) developed innovative ways to reduce environmental pollution resulted from poor waste management by integrating entrepreneurship skills in waste management. The project aimed to increase the value of wastes through training young people to use waste to produce mushroom, sustainable charcoal and for home gardening. Attaching value to waste helps to reduce amount of pollution and to improve young people livelihood.
The project was guided by three main themes which were:
Employability skills: which aimed to improve the employability or job readiness of a person through work relate skills, education, interpersonal and cognitive skills with a focus on numeracy and literary
Financial skills: focused on knowledge, skills and behavior (money management) that are required and assist in making informed decisions resulting in financial inclusion and well-being
Enterprise skills: which focused to provide enterprise and business development related training which measurably improve the skills and expertise to start, manage and grow a sustainable business and access meaningful economic opportunities
The objective of the project was to improve youths’ knowledge on waste entrepreneurship and leadership for income generation
Name: Juma Julius Maro
Juma Julius works as masonry and male dress designer (under Fashion Beauty, located in Sinza D) for 6 years since 2010. Through these activities, Juma has managed to run his life quite well with average income of TZS 350,000 per month.
Previously, Juma was interests on mushroom farming business and therefore he invested adequate amount of time in searching for knowledge on mushroom farming through internet browsing and attending several training without success. Juma said ‘I attended one training on mushroom farming but I couldn’t understand how to grow mushroom until when I attended entrepreneurship training workshops at Envirocare’ These trainings at Envirocare supported by National Bank of Commerce through Barclays were focused on building capacity of young people on waste income generating activities, financial skills, enterprise skills and employability skills. He says that these training completely changed his life.
Juma started to grow mushroom at his Aunt place in Salasala area by renovating unfinished room inside his aunts’ living house. The room was modified to suit requirement to be mushroom farm. He was motivated by the mushroom farm at Envirocare. He said ‘I decided to start to grow mushroom by using whatever capital I could have at that time’. Juma used his masonry skills to prepare a farm out of living room with little amount of cash. It required small amount of money for the money required to purchase some materials for mushroom farming and farm construction. ‘I started by collecting materials that remained while working. Usually these materials are considered as wastes’. After two months, He had enough materials to start the construction of his farm. The mushroom farm has 12ft width, 12ft length and 13ft height.
When the farm was finished, he started to cultivate mushroom in October 2016. ‘I planted 350 mushroom bags in three phases (i.e. Phase one-100 bags, phase two-50 bags and phase three-200 bags)’ he said. Out of these 350 mushroom bags, 70 bags did not harvested (50 bags failed colonize while 20 bags was attacked by fungus)’. Juma is now harvesting averaged 2 Kg of mushroom per day from November 2016 and selling to his customers. Money acquired from mushroom selling has provided him with another source of income of average TZS 18,000 per day (One Kg of mushroom is sold at price of TZS 7,000 to TZS 10,000).
Through entrepreneurship training workshops, Juma has managed to improve his financial management and his masonry services. ‘I used entrepreneurships skills to review and modify my charges as well as omitting all those things that deterred customers to require my services. As result, I have managed to overcome competition from other people working on the same field with me’. His income from masonry activities raised to TZS 500,000 per month from TZS 350,000 per month just four months after attending the training. ‘My life has improved a lot as I can be confident of collecting at least TZS 600,000 every month from my activities’.
Juma is grateful to National Bank of Commerce through Barclays and Envirocare for this life changing opportunity. ‘I thank NBC and Envirocare for the wonderful training and for their ambition to serve young people in Tanzania.
- The need for knowledge and skills to exploit waste associated opportunities is still needed by community. There is a need to expand the project to reach more people.
- Adding value to waste through innovative waste income generating activities helps to reduce uncontrolled dumping
- Youth can play crucial roles in poverty alleviation and environment management if equipped with proper knowledge and skills on waste management.
- Smart agriculture such as mushroom farming and horticulture has tremendous potential to increase food security as well as contributing to household income if fully tapped.
- Entrepreneurship skills (enterprise skills, financial skills and employability skills) are highly required by community given the government intention for industrialization.
- There is a need to raise community awareness on Mushroom food preparation and on environmental benefits of Briquette charcoal made of waste. This will expand the market of the products produced.
- Effective stakeholder’s engagement is important for project planning and implementation.
- Extension of the project to other places while taking onboard youths that have started waste income generating activities for capacity development.
- Working with youths from formal institutions such as associations, religious institution and academic institutions will enable the project to manage the project beneficiaries.
Youths’ knowledge on waste entrepreneurship and leadership skills increased. Through this project, 1978 youths were trained on waste management, mushroom farming, compost and gardening, briquette charcoal making and entrepreneurship skills. Out of these trained youths, 949 youths have started various income generating activities such as charcoal making (157 youths), mushroom farming (142 youths) and other businesses (895). The leadership skills provided to youths have also enabled youths to manage well their new developed businesses.
Furthermore, 909 businesses out of 949 new businesses have showed positive growth (increased capital) which is equals to 95.8% of all businesses established by trained youths. On other hand, the Life skills training given to youths has enabled 890 youths to achieve employment through formal employment and self-employment.
Despite all achievements, there were few challenges observed through project monitoring and evaluation.
- Despite increased number of new business, more efforts are required to enable young entrepreneurs to spot and exploit new market opportunities.
- Trained youth use local and cheap technologies for charcoal production due to inadequate capital. However, more efforts are required form government and development partners to support youth to develop and expand production of environmental friendly briquette charcoal.
- Despite mushroom being a product of high economic value and its nutritious benefits more efforts are required to attract customers.
- Trained youth have started and developed new small business but fails to meet legal requirements to start and develop business. This has been the case for many youths owning small business the situation that adds confrontation with government authorities in urban areas.
- Awakening youth and mind-set changing. Due to criteria for selecting training workshops, many youths attending training had rigid mind and lack of self-motivation. The project has managed to develop ways that awakens workshop participants and enabled them to realize their potentials.
Developed solutions for the identified challenges:
- Organize and encourage youth to create and register groups that can be easy monitored and supported. The project agreed with Wards Community Development Officers to help youths with registration process while Envirocare will offer, at any time, support to develop constitution for intended association. At the same time, Envirocare will continue to work with its partner to support these groups and link these groups-whenever possible-with any opportunity emerged. Moreover, Envirocare will continue to provide counselling to youths and offer legal advice to developed groups/association.
- Link producer with market. The project has used various initiatives to link producers with available markets with the aim of open doors to young entrepreneurs. Other measures include encouraging youths to add value of products produced; and exploit opportunities of advertisement on social media.
- Organize the hub for knowledge sharing and marketing. The link has been used to provide additional knowledge and information regarding waste income generating activities to trained youth. It is also used for advertisement and for mentoring and encouraging each other as it linked trainers and trainees. For further learning, Envirocare has opened doors to project beneficiaries to visit Envirocare training facilities available at Envirocare office for any assistance.
- Lobby for government to support production environmental friendly briquette charcoal. This will enable small producer to compete into market and develop their business. The process was successful as government promised to initiate special efforts to support production of sustainable briquette charcoal.
- Providing legal advice to trained youths on business development and on business implementation including general entrepreneurship advice to trained youths
The project targeted 2000 youths from these areas mostly vulnerable and marginalized youths
National Bank of Commerce, NBC