Coca-Cola, through its philanthropic arm, The Coca-Cola Foundation (TCCF) has given a grant to the Initiative For The Advancement of Waste Management in Africa (W.A.S.T.E AFRICA), a non-governmental organisation, to promote waste as a valuable currency for social good and economic inclusion in Abuja and Lagos.
The funding will be used to build seven solar-powered recycling hubs in satellite towns such as Nyanya, Zuba, Bwari, Kuje, Gwagwalada, Jikwoyi and Galadimawa. Residents will also be encouraged to adopt the habit of recycling and turn their waste into wealth, while the eighth solar-powered recycling hub to be built in a low-income suburb of Lagos.
Speaking on the NGO’s objectives with the recycling hubs, Olufunto Boroffice, Convener of W.A.S.T.E Africa explained, “Adequate financing for collection and disposal of plastic waste is one of the biggest issues impacting recycling in Nigeria. A primary challenge is the scaled recovery of plastic bottles. I am thankful to The Coca-Cola Foundation for providing the funds to expand our operations, enabling us to create eight green recycling hubs, empowering over 3,000 waste pickers and women, many of whom are living in indigent homes with little or no educational backgrounds.”
Beneficiaries of The Coca-Cola Foundation funding to W.A.S.T.E Africa will include over 1,600 women who will be recruited as waste pickers and sorters in these communities.
For these women, knowledge about waste separation and sorting of recyclable material will provide an economic lifeline especially in this period where millions of Nigerians are losing their jobs because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The women waste pickers will be provided with financial literacy, safety training and as well as the provision of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).