Waste Business Hub
Waste Business Hub
Waste Business Hub is a startup incubator of The Greens that aims at freely training young and underprivileged youths on the business opportunities available in the domain of waste in order to alleviate poverty and curb youth unemployment, improve agriculture and biodiversity conservation, improve health and wellbeing, reduce inequalities as well as combat climate change and promote sustainable cities and communities.
The first phase of the project aims at training young girls on the upcycling of textile waste from the waste baskets of tailors and fashion designers as well as the waste baskets of homes to produce low cost dolls, dusters, dodge balls, pillows, mattresses, curtains, kitchen gloves, kitchen aprons, scarecrows, and our new clothing brand, “Pieces dresses”. At this phase, our main goal is to involve more women in the recycling, environment and entrepreneurship industries as well as nurture a generation of Waste Business Entrepreneurs (Wastepreneurs).
During this phase, we shall also collect cloths and shoes from people who are no longer in need of, clean them and redistribute them to people in rural communities and orphanages who are in need of them, hence reduce the amount of textile materials that people burn or send to the landfill.
Cameroon is a country that has yet to establish adequate infrastructure. Roads connecting urban centers to rural areas are few. The unemployment rate is at 30% and with seven out of 10 young people under-employed. Cameroon is ranked 150th on the 2011 Human Development Index, and it is estimated that 48 percent of the population lives below the poverty line.
Poverty in Cameroon is largely a rural phenomenon with 55 percent of the country’s poor living in rural areas. About half of the people living in poor households are women and children under the age of 15. According to ILO, the percentage of unemployed female youth in Cameroon was 7.90 whereas male unemployment youth stood at 5.60 as of 2014. Generally, youth unemployment in Cameroon was 6.70 as of 2014. Besides youth unemployment and poverty, Cameroon is still underdeveloped and faces a major challenge in the hygiene and sanitation and waste management sectors. The lack of education on hygiene and sanitation and waste management as well as the absence of recycling infrastructures are greatly accelerating land degradation, pollution, ill-health, poverty, and climate change. The aforementioned challenges in my country are a direct reflection of what is happening in Bamenda, the North West Region of Cameroon as many youths are unemployed, the land is continuously being degraded, pollution is increasing, people litter anywhere anytime, people don’t sort waste, etc. After researching, Ngalim Franklin (Mr. Green), Founder/President of The Greens realized that more than 45% of waste in Bamenda is organic waste which could be recycled to produce organic manure. More than 70% of textile waste from homes and fashion designers’ (tailoring) workshops which could be recycled are thrown in the landfill or burned. In fact, waste is wasted in Bamenda and this explains why The Greens wants to change the situation. The Greens wants to stop people from wasting waste and that is why they have started Waste Business Hub, which is a startup incubator that aims at educating young people on the business opportunities available in the domain of waste; hence nurture a generation of Wastepreneurs who will make profits while helping people and the planet.
- Educate and empower young people on the business opportunities available in the domain waste hence transform them to become Waste Business Entrepreneurs (Wastepreneurs) thereby reducing youth unemployment and alleviating poverty.
- Reduce the amount of textile waste in the Bamenda, North West Region that gets burned or go in to the landfill by more than 70%.
- Reduce the percentage of animal deaths resulting from Farmer-Animal Conflict via the provision of Scarecrows to farmers and Scarecrows Forest Fencing; hence improve biodiversity conservation.
- Improve the health and wellbeing of more than 100000 people in rural communities via donation of free cloths collected from the cities to them.
- Produce and market low cost recycled textile products that are available and affordable.
The main reason and inspiration for the production of the different products is as follows;
Dolls and Dodge balls: During festive periods like Christmas, most orphans and underprivileged children do not get gifts. Moreover, they lack toys to play with and have fun. As such, the dolls and dodge balls produced shall be given out to these children for free so as to encourage them to play local sports (dodging) and give them hope of better and brighter days to come.
Bow ties: Pieces of textile waste can be used to produce beautiful bowties.
Black board Dusters: In most schools in Cameroon, pupils and students use their hands or piece of paper to clean the chalk board. To solve this problem, we shall freely provide students with textile waste materials and train them to produce chalk board dusters.
Pillows and Mattresses: In Cameroon, most people in the rural communities still use grass mattresses and pillows which in most cases serve as a habitat for snakes and bed bugs. To solve this problem, we shall be producing very low cost mattresses and pillows from textile waste to be sold in rural communities to replace the grass mattresses and pillows.
Kitchen Gloves and Aprons: More than 70% of the Cameroonian population still use papers or pieces of fabric to hold hot items in the kitchen and do not have or use Kitchen Aprons during cooking. This has mostly led to fire/heat burns as well as oil stains on dresses during cooking. The unavailability and high costs of these cooking items which are mostly imported has greatly accelerated that lack of interest of people who cook to use these items. To solve this problem, we are going to be producing low cost Kitchen Gloves and Aprons from textile waste salvaged from the waste baskets of tailors and fashion designers.
Curtains: Because curtains are expensive, more than 60% of homes in typical rural communities do not have curtains. The absences of curtains have greatly exposed them to cold and mosquitoes as well as allow lots of dust and flying insects to invade their homes. To solve this problem, we are going to be producing very low cost curtains from textile waste.
Pieces Dresses: The goal of pieces dresses is to provide cheap and well-designed dresses made from salvaged textile materials to people.
Scarecrows: The last grade of textile waste which will not be qualified to be used for the production of the aforementioned products shall be used to produce scarecrows for farmers and conservation. Farmer-animal conflict has led to the loss of most protected species. After sowing their seeds, most farmers always have conflict with animals and in most cases, these farmers always shoot and kill these animals or poison these animals because they want to protect their farms. To solve this problem, we shall be producing simple and effective scarecrows that can effectively scare away animals from farms hence secure agricultural productivity and reduce animal deaths resulting from farmer animal conflict. We shall also do a scare-crow forest fencing to restrict animals in the forests from invading and destroying people’s farms hence protect these animals.