In Mogadishu, Somalia, Muslimo Aden Sidale and her team embark on a daily mission that goes beyond mere cleanup—it’s a commitment to change. Their task: collecting plastic waste from diverse neighborhoods, contributing not only to a cleaner environment but also to the emergence of a new industry in Somalia.
Compensated at around Somali Shillings (SOS) 3,000 (Ksh811.38) for each kilogram of plastic collected, Muslimo’s earnings have become a significant improvement in her family’s well-being. She expresses gratitude, noting, “Thank God I can support my family now without doing cleaning work.”
The global plastic pollution crisis looms large, with a staggering 400 million tons produced annually. Mogadishu, however, hosts a unique response: Oslimo’s Modest Hall, the solitary plastic recycling facility in a nation of 15 million people.
Oslimo’s Modest Hall doesn’t merely dispose of plastic waste; it transforms it. The factory converts collected plastic into Eco-friendly, practical products, including building materials such as tiles, interlocks, and utilities for kitchens and toilets.
Processing around 30 metric tons of plastic waste monthly, Recycling Farm, as the facility is known, significantly contributes to waste reduction. With an annual capacity of approximately 360 metric tons, the farm aspires to expand operations nationwide. Yet, this journey is not without hurdles.
A substantial obstacle faced by Recycling Farm is the mounting cost of electricity, influenced by global energy market fluctuations. Soaring fuel prices—approximately US dollars 1.5 (Ksh229.73) per liter of petrol and US dollars 1.3 (Ksh199.10) per liter of diesel—constrain the factory’s capacity, emphasizing the delicate balance between local initiatives and global economic dynamics.
‘’The main obstacle we are facing now is the high cost of electricity due to increasing prices of the global energy market. For example, one liter of petrol is about US dollars 1.5, while the diesel goes for about US dollars 1.3. That is limiting our capacity because electricity is private in our country.’’
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Despite challenges, Recycling Farm perseveres. The team’s commitment to sustainability and community betterment propels them forward. As Somalia’s sole plastic recycling facility, the farm not only addresses plastic pollution but also acts as an economic and environmental catalyst.