CUSSH Enrichment hosts a celebratory event in Kisumu, Kenya 

July 6, 2022

On 30th May, the CUSSH enrichment project through its partners, the County Government of Kisumu, Community Empowerment and Media Initiative in Kisumu (CEMI-K), African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC), and University College London (UCL) held a celebratory event at Tom Mboya College, Kisumu. The occasion commemorated the project milestones in ensuring public engagement was integrated into discussions and actions aimed at sustainable urban waste management in four informal settlements in Kisumu County, namely Obunga, Manyatta, Kondele, and Nyalenda.

In attendance were project beneficiaries, community members, and representatives from the county government. Beneficiaries showcased recycled and repurposed materials such as the ‘owalo” (a traditional dancing skirt initially made from sisal), mats, shoes, bags, and beadwork.

Some of the showcased materials at the event. Left: Owalo, dancing skirts made out of solid waste material. Centre: Beadwork, Right: Shoes

The occasion saw beneficiaries sharing their personal experiences from the project’s intervention. One beneficiary, in particular, mentioned how she managed to sustain her livelihood through waste management. Taka ni pesa, said Phoebe Ogada, meaning waste is money in Kiswahili, Kenya’s national language. This resonated with most participants at the meeting, who improved their livelihoods through recycling, reducing, and reusing solid waste materials. 

Project beneficiaries sharing their personal experiences during the event.

At the event, Evans Gichana, Directorate of Climate Change, Kisumu County, gave an overview of the project, highlighting the project focus and achievements. The keynote address by Mr. Salmon Orimbo, County Executive Committee Member Water, Environment, Natural Resources & Climate Change (represented in absentia by Marylne Agwa, Chief Officer Climate Change and Natural Resources), acknowledged the tremendous close collaboration between the project team and the county government. She emphasized that sustainable waste management requires heavy interventions and assured political goodwill for future opportunities of working together to ensure a clean and healthier environment for all.

Marylne Agwa, Chief Officer of Climate Change and Natural Resources making the keynote address. 

Additionally, the event was a learning experience for some students in attendance through the gallery walk that documented the beneficiaries’ work.

School children and their teacher from one of the school environment clubs that participated in the project doing a walk-through of the photo exhibition.

The event concluded with recognizing some local journalists involved in documenting waste-related stories. They were also taken through capacity strengthening training sessions on solutions journalism. Over the project period, they have covered sustainable waste management stories in print, online and audiovisual in various media outlets. The journalists indicated that they had benefited from the Solutions Journalism training introduced by Otula Owuor and Daniel Otunge of Science Africa. The training sessions strengthened their reporting on environmental issues, enabling them to gain international recognition and additional financial resources.  

Florence Sipalla (APHRC), Bernard Okebe (CEMI-K), awarding a certificate of excellence to Mactilda Mbenywe, a reporter at Standard Newspaper.

Ahead of the celebration event, Ambia Musa (journalist with Peace FM) and Florence Sipalla (APHRC) participated in an interactive live radio program hosted by Javan Onano at Radio Lake Victoria. Both Ambia and Javan have participated in the solutions journalism training sessions. 

Journalists and youth champions trained through the CUSSH Enrichment project on solutions journalism pose for a photo during the event.

The CUSSH Enrichment would like to thank all our partners and the people of Kisumu County who participated in the project, enabling us to achieve our goals.