New Jobs Through Upcycling Project
Sierra Leone

New Jobs Through Upcycling Project

Main sector
Water, Sanitation & Hygiene
Kerstin Bandsom Team Communications

Bo City was once drowning in refuse. The Sierra Leonean city of 240,000 was not able to deal with the effects of urbanisation. Mountains of plastic bags, tins and leftover food accumulated by the roadside. Unauthorised dumps appeared all over the city. People no longer knew what to do with their rubbish.

Upcycling and Recycling in Sierra Leone: The trash pioneers of Bo
Upcycling and Recycling in Sierra Leone: The trash pioneers of Bo

Today, Bo can proudly bear the title of the cleanest city in Sierra Leone. In collaboration with the municipal administration, Welthungerhilfe declared war on the rubbish: As part of the “Klin Bo Services” initiative, they trained 60 young people as rubbish collectors. The trainees learned how to separate the rubbish and where to collect it.

Reaching Remote Neighbourhoods by Scooter

The rubbish collectors are equipped with motorised three wheelers for their work. They then strike out along the main roads to remote parts of the city that are not serviced by regular rubbish collection. The rubbish collectors stop for every resident who has registered with the initiative: Once registered, their rubbish is collected regularly in return for a small fee.

The waste materials are then processed in specialised collection facilities. This is good business for both parties: The clients get rid of their rubbish, and the young people working for Klin Bo Services avoid the widespread unemployment and earn some money on their own.

Upcycling: Francis Gdondo makes colourful purses out of old packaging. © Welthungerhilfe
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Alice and Charles make organic fertiliser out of residual waste. © Welthungerhilfe
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Waste General Alfred Muana melts down old tins to make new pots. © Roland Brockmann
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Repurposing Reusable Waste

Not all rubbish ends up in landfills. Anything reusable is reprocessed. Workshops supported by Welthungerhilfe process plastic bags into purses and aluminium cans into pots, clothes hangers or ash trays. Organic waste is converted to compost.

Creative value creation from old things has paid off for a lot of people in Bo.

(Project number: SLE 1022)

The aid measures are receiving financial support from the Department for International Development (UK).

Deutsche Welthungerhilfe e. V., Sparkasse KölnBonn IBAN DE15 3705 0198 0000 0011 15, BIC COLSDE33