What problem are you trying to solve?
Our City has a population of 5M people where almost half of them living in 10 slums spread around the city and surviving on less than 2 USD a day and 84% without health coverage. With a garbage output of 10,000 tons a day of which 48% are plastics, our city ranks as the highest generator of plastic waste in Eastern Africa. Slums exhibit a huge problem regarding access to health care among the slum poor where over 98% lack access to health insurance. Many can’t get access to health care due to financial factors. Until now, “limited resource” becomes the cliche for poor health service for the slum dwellers. Solid waste management is a major problem in slums causing clogged sewers leading to waterborne diseases like typhoid, cholera, and diarrhea, increased upper respiratory diseases from open burning of the garbage to malaria. Poor slum dwellers have no access to health insurance coverage due to inability to afford monthly premiums.
What is your solution to this problem?
With our model, the community pays clinical services by using garbage in an insurance scheme. This way we make the community mobilize their own unused resources to improve health access and breakdown barrier between health facilities and community mainly targeting slum children below 5 years and expectant women. We open up access to health. On the other side, this becomes an incentive for the community to start a proper waste management from household level, thus contributing to improve local sanitation.
To sustain our project, we have developed a chemical-free technology to transform collected plastic garbage into durable plastic timbers. Plastic timbers which are ideal product for building, construction and furniture making are normally made in 10ft on average and shaped either round or square, that we sell to real estate developers and furniture manufacturers, the revenue we get pays for Medical health insurance for poor slum folks and 25% remains to cover the operations costs.
What is your latest update on your innovation?
We have developed a chemical free, energy conserving plastic extrusion technology called “Waxy ӀӀ technology” to recycle and transform post-consumer plastic garbage into durable and long-lasting plastic timbers, Plastic timbers are an affordable alternative to wood timbers, hence reduces the need for building material manufactured from wood, helping to preserve forests, cut down on deforestation and further mitigation of climate change. Our organic conversion technology is environmentally friendly, that uses natural profiled waxy (from the bees) inversion in the plastic extrusion process set at different temperatures, the technology helps plastic materials of different polymers reach their melting point quickly while retaining their original stability and strength, hence low energy consumption resulting to low production costs. With our innovative technology, We are simply the pioneer of chemical free and energy conserving plastic extrusion technology in Africa.