FLEAT in action: Youths transform plastic waste into paving tiles

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Written by Andrew Gwambe, from the FLEAT 1 group:

Chisomo Community Youth Club in Salima, a lakeshore area in Malawi recently stole the show when they transformed plastic waste into paving tiles. People around Sengabay market gathered to witness the phenomena. “At first, I was nervous but I was encouraged after seeing the results.” Andrew Gwambe said.

Chisomo Community Youth Club comprises of many teenage mothers and who do not have source of income. This project will become an income generating activity for the group. It is anticipated that deforestation will be reduced as bricks made out of plastic waste will replace mud burnt bricks. There shall be waste management and practical good use of plastic waste. So the novelty about transforming plastic waste into paving tiles is fabulous.

Because of this, two things have happened; Dr. Thomas Nyanda of LUANAR University has proposed to jointly work with Malawi FLEAT members to conduct a detailed research on the technology so that the findings could be widely disseminated and accepted by local building companies and customers. Also the Program Manager at the UNDP-UNEP encouraged Andrew to contact a sister institution (UNDP-SGP) for possible funding for necessary equipment to scale up the environmental-friendly project.

“With practice, it is expected that the youths will be able to make excellent products.” Rev. Collings Chizumira of Central Africa Presbyterian Church remarked of the event.

The motivation originated from a clip that was posted on FLEAT’s WhatsApp group. Zainab of SAFCEI searched and she found the toolkit which she then shared with the FLEAT group. Andrew took the toolkit and without delay led the youths in mobilizing materials and practiced the low-cost technology.