It was a rainy Saturday when 3 Arusha based YETs made a trip back to daraja mbili to assess the progress made by the Setlife group in their efforts to protect river Ngarenaro from pollution resulting from random dumping of solid waste by the slum dwellers.
We met with the group team leader at the Ngarenaro ward office and began our journey into the river and observed a few things as follows; first the trees that were planted by the YETs back in April are doing fine as most of the them are in stable condition though a couple of them have died and domestic animals are to blame according to the Setlife team leader.
Unlike last time, our trip didn’t end only at the river, but instead we had a long tour across the notorious streets of matejo and got a firsthand experience of the garbage management problem across the slums but appreciated the fact that local people can organize themselves to address their local problems as Setlife and their fellow slum dwellers are doing.
On positive note, the team leader delivered his thanks and appreciation to the YETs for their contributions of the sanitary equipments to facilitate easy garbage collection. He went on to say that, the equipments are durable and have made their job much easier and more health friendly and from their experience in using them so far, they believe that the equipments will last long. This is more than encouraging for the YETs to see that the little we offered has made such a tremendous difference to them and to their local environment.
We also had an hour long discussion in one of the member’s house about the challenges facing the group to meet their set goals and they pointed out the fact they still have to hire a 1950’s British made Beford as a garbage collection truck, they face a number of challenges; the truck is too old and faces constant breakdown and delays the collection trips, also with the poor truck their unable to cope with the volume of the waste produces in the 6 streets that they serve currently.
They made it clear that they wish to get assistance first to hire a quality truck to easy garbage collections and eventually to be able to buy their own truck to fast track garbage collection in the slums which are excluded by the municipal authorities. He said so far they have managed to turn prostitutes and ex-convicts into garbage collectors and their ultimate aim is to create more jobs and help to combat poverty and other social evils in the slums.
In short, they were so overwhelmed to see us back because to them it demonstrates that some people recognize and support what they do. Setlife fellaz can’t wait to see you guys back and they look forward to share a lot of other experiences with you.
Guys get better and not bitter and please keep the hopes alive.
Holla from the Geneva of Africa!