Developing Employment Opportunities through the Environmental Conservation of Kaffrine

Year: 2015
Country: Senegal
Project Investment: $2,467.85
Project Status: Funded
Sector: Economic Opportunity

Project Launch:

In Kaffrine, three out of five women are unemployed, poverty rates are high and waste management is insufficient. This project will support the development of an eco-business, with a focus on better collecting household and commercial trash, educating youth on conservation issues, and forming women-led economic cooperatives transforming collected trash into products that can be marketed and sold locally such as compost, baskets, backpacks, and other goods. The project will increase income-generating opportunities for women while simultaneously promoting environmental stewardship and conservation among the youth and general population.

Project Update

SEN-ECOKAF has been formed with 6 staff members who received basic business management and marketing trainings. The business is now legally registered as a SARL, which is the equivalent of a LLC in the US, and they even have their own marketing intern! The group launched trash collection services in January 2016 and have already grown 200% with a total of 264 clients. The group is working with local youth associations to promote environmental stewardship and conservation and in April held their first community clean up day, which was attended by over 80 youth.

Final Report: 3/23/2017

The enterprise has been in operations for more than 1 year, without any additional sources of financial support. SEN-ECOKAF has hired over 12 employees during the course of one year. With its plans to expand, the company will hire another dozen local community members. 350+ households have reduced their health risks by better managing their household waste. The executive board has learned to apply to different grant sources and how to manage financial support. They have obtained a large grant from a local NGO in Kaffrine to expand their collection efforts. SEN-ECOKAF has become a leader in the waste management industry, and other communities have approached the Director General for assistance in setting up a waste management company in their communities. The project is hugely supported by its community, including youth associations who are dedicated to community clean-ups as well as sensitization campaigns to increase the number of households with trash cans. Board members have been trained in basic managerial skills and can apply these to any other business endeavors -- mentoring others to start their own businesses.

Testimonials

"The world is facing more environmental challenges than it ever has. Senegal is feeling the harsh impact of many of these problems, including waste management issues. Innovative and effective solutions are needed, and SEN-ECOKAF has played a pioneering role in the city of Kaffrine. The company has reduced adverse health risks, while simultaneously providing job opportunities and environmental education. Women are often in charge of trash management in Senegal, and by training them in the importance of litter prevention, we are working together to reduce pollution in our community." - Stefanie, Peace Corps Volunteer

"We are working to have the most women employed at SEN-ECOKAF. Though we were unable to start our trash transformation component last year, we are hoping that we can employ women's groups to start recycling. We had a girls' empowerment training and taught them about the environment. They even built a bench from inorganic materials." - Lakhat, Project Leader

"SEN-ECOKAF gave me a job when I didn't have one. What more can I say?" - Fatou, Project Participant

"The trash at my company gets collected twice a week. SEN-ECOKAF is a reliable, professional and excellent service that this community needed so much." - Thierno, Project Participant

"I am very happy for the support SEN-ECOKAF has given us. They are committed to their community and their employees. We even started a garden at the office. When we make tea now, we can add mint from our own garden." - Malik, Project Participant