Moroto Paradise, in Tudor, is one of Mombasa County’s over 70 informal settlement areas. The high population in the area had put a strain on the existing infrastructure causing difficulty in access to water and sanitation. Along with the high population there’s also a challenge in solid waste management, partly due to poor infrastructure, limiting access for service providers.
The area also has a high unemployment rate and low school enrolment rate, leading to high competition for informal jobs. The high unemployment and poverty rate have caused a spike in drug usage and criminal activity among the youth of the Moroto area. Since the youth in the area showed an interest in blue collar jobs, there was an opportunity to help them become self-reliant while benefiting their community and environment.
Kenya Private Sector Alliance’s (KEPSA) project; Sustainable Inclusive Business (SIB-K), with funding from the French Government took up this initiative to empower women and youth with entrepreneurship skills to economically benefit their community.
The idea was to show the youth of Moroto the importance of taking care of their environment and to equip them with business skills to spot opportunities around them. Based on the experience gained over the years in addressing unemployment through several initiatives, KEPSA was able to set up this forum to empower youth and women to gain business skills.
The need for training was drawn from KEPSA’s findings that most businesses fail within 5 to 10 years of their existence due to the lack of business skills. KEPSA envisions that 7 business cases will be selected and offered seed capital. One of the selection criteria will be whether the business makes a positive impact on the environment.
The overall aim of the project was to support women and youth in Mombasa County, Tudor Moroto, in creating opportunities to generate income through sustainable trade. KEPSA, through the Sustainable Inclusive Business, empowered both women and youth by harnessing their entrepreneurship skills as well as enhancing access to financing by linking the entrepreneurs to financial institutions.
Based on the project’s goals, the expected outcomes were to transform Moroto into a sustainably self-reliant community with a clean environment and entrepreneurial youth.
These outcomes included:
- Increased employment opportunities for youth and women by 3%
- Better waste management within the area
- Enhanced skills in business management and financial literacy by 5%
- Increased access to financing for entrepreneurs in the informal areas
The 6-month Coast project was important because it served several purposes for the residents in Moroto area. Despite, being a short to medium term project, it has lasting benefits to the environment and community. Some of the project’s benefits include creating employment for the youth, creating business opportunities that don’t require a high level of education and creating a responsible community. Environmentally, the Coast project promoted enforcement of the circular economy model, that advocates for recycling plastics and keeping them off the environment.
The Coast project served four of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) which should move Kenya a big step forward in terms of sustainability. No poverty, good health and wellbeing, clean water and sanitation and by extension, life below water are just some of the international sustainability goals this project benefits. Building an entrepreneurial community helps with alleviating poverty, and living in a clean environment promotes a healthy lifestyle.
Since access to clean water and sanitation is an issue in Moroto, the entrepreneurial minds with access to funds might band together and figure out a way to solve the problem. Coastal towns face a huge challenge with dumping, due to their high traffic in domestic and international tourism. This waste easily gets into the ocean, affecting aquatic biodiversity. Either by chocking animals that accidentally swallow it or hindering the growth aquatic plants, waste around natural waterbodies is a cause of concern. For this reason, environmental responsibility and enforcing of the circular economy by extension benefits aquatic biodiversity.
From the environment to the community, the number of long-term beneficiaries from this project prove why it is important.