An entrepreneur from the Tuhingireni informal settlement in Rundu has developed bricks from recycled plastic and sand as a way of solving the town’s solid waste management problems.
Ladislaus Shikerete, who is also an employee of the Rundu Town Council, says he decided to venture into this project to assist the town council in managing its solid waste issues in his personal capacity because litter is strewn all over.
“What motivated me was the fact that the town was dirty. It got me thinking about how I could play my part as a resident by assisting in keeping Rundu clean. Three years ago, I started researching this initiative,” he explained. Shikerete said the brick is made uniquely as opposed to a traditional cement brick. He uses plastic from bottles to bags and wrapping that he melts in a pot. When the plastic becomes liquid, he adds sand that he gets from the Kavango River, without using water. Thereafter, he adds crusher dust to prevent holes in the brick. The whole process takes up to 20 minutes, after which the mixture is placed into a mouldmaker after it had been lubricated with engine oil. It is then left to dry for up to an hour.
According to him, these bricks can be used to build houses or for paving. Furthermore, Shikerete said he has not received support from financial or government institutions he approached because he did not meet their requirements, and in some instances, they did not understand his project.
“The challenge we have, as you can see, is a lack of protective clothing. We are required to have spades, wheelbarrows and a trailer to get the plastic from the dumpsite. We are also in need of funds to pay the people who are collecting these plastic bags for us. Actually, we are in dire need of assistance to establish this project properly,” he noted.
Additionally, he requires a laboratory which can assist him in testing his bricks to establish whether they meet the required standards. He has thus approached some local laboratories, but could not afford the amount he was requested to pay.
The entrepreneur, who employs two people, has urged Rundu residents to avoid discarding plastics bags in open areas, and to rather put them to good use.
“Whoever is throwing plastic away should avoid doing so. When they see plastic bags, let them see that you can be able to take them somewhere, where they can be compensated.
In future, we want to see everyone in Rundu bringing their plastic bags to Tuhingireni. If they have plastic bags in their houses, they can just bring them to us. We can put them to good use,” he added.
He thus appealed to potential investors and the government to fund his idea so that they can address the solid waste crisis in Rundu.
* Ladislaus Shikerete can be reached on his mobile number 0814001606 for further engagement.