MTN Wraps Up Trash to Treasure Roadshow

By Inside Biz

MTN Eswatini has wrapped up its roadshow of empowering out-of-school youths across the country with skills to monetise waste and turn it into market-ready products.

This was part of the annual 21 Days of Y’ello Care programme which sees employees of this global company interact with members of the community to participate in development projects.

The project is done by MTN Eswatini in partnership with Yibutse Green Action.

This year’s theme is Empowering Entrepreneurship to Unlock Growth and Job Creation, with the main focus being on waste management, the youth, women, and people with disabilities.

The waste monetization regional sessions took a new twist at Maguga Lodge yesterday as over 100 young people were treated to a litany of options on how to turn trash into treasure right in the communities they live in.

Yesterday’s key take-home points were: raise awareness; organize clean-up campaigns; promote recycling; work with local authorities and develop solutions.

Environmentalist and Artist Khulekani Msweli created an appetite to the young people when he said waste recycling offers money today not tomorrow.

“Young people need to invest more time engaging with the elders of their community, to inderstand the dynamics of leadership structures which can influence their innovative ideas of turning the community trash into treasure.”

Pigg’s Peak Town Council Public Health and Environmental Officer Bongekile Mkhontfo further provoked their eagerness with her illustration of how expensive it is to provide and manage waste in their landfills.

She said last year the municipality spent E1.6million maintaining the landfill used by the town council.

Other facilitators were Environmental Health Specialist Ellen Matsenjwa and young entrepreneurs who have embarked on recycling businesses.

“Youth in rural areas are often discouraged by lack of infrastructure. Use of locally available materials such as pallets, old corrugated iron sheets, metals from recyclers, oil drums and many more can help set up a quick recycling centre and onsite storage facilities. That’s all you need to put food on the table while contributing to environmental protection,” Matsenjwa said.

The waste monetization programme has covered all four regions of the country, benefiting a total of 700 youth.

The organization hosted a series of workshops, exhibitions and competitions for young people on turning waste to treasure.

The main pillars of the project are single-use plastic waste and electronic waste (e-waste).

MTN CEO Wandile Mtshali said the primary focus was to awaken young people to their capacity and potential to grow and develop entrepreneurial and leadership qualities, while at the same time addressing environmental problems affecting specific local communities.

The workshops were directed towards the growing numbers of disadvantaged youths, particularly in the townships, informal settlements and in the streets, who bear the brunt of soial ills and economic deprivation.

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