Contributing Monkie G Living Staff Monkies
Published on August 5, 2008
Here’s one from the strange solutions category. Folks in Nairobi, Kenya are cleaning up their slums, putting people to work and providing free cooking and cleaning services by burning garbage. Skeptical? Me, too until I learned more.
The slums around Nairobi, where nearly 60% of the population live, suffer some of the worst living conditions in the world because city government does not recognize them as formal settlements and therefore does not extend any services like water, sewer, or garbage collection. So, what happens to the trash? It gets thrown in the street and nearby watercourses, creating a toxic environment where families wash clothes and children play.
That’s where “Firebox” Francis Gwehonah comes in. The self-taught incinerator man has designed a machine that burns so hot it destroys toxic chemicals that would otherwise be released into the atmosphere. The heat from burning the garbage provides free cooking services for neighborhoods and hot water for washing clothes and other sanitation. Long term plans also include purifying drinking water for local residents — a much needed commodity.
And imagine, no landfill.
Okay, I’m still a skeptical, but at least something is being done for these people. Maybe there’s something to the claim that where government fails, private enterprise can help.