|Converting trash into cash|
|Monday, 16 July 2012 10:33|
TO most people textile or paper waste, grass and leaves are frowned upon and treated just as much — useless trash.
Mapepa — that is the project’s name. Through partnerships with other marketing agents, the products are sold to local and international artists, designers, distributors, retailers, tourists and hoteliers. People are making a “good living” out of this, recycling trash.
“Yes, we are working very hard to educate and develop Clean Development Mechanism desks with a view of implementing sustainable community empowerment programmes utilising waste management as our catalyst to empowerment,” he said.
The Mapepa products are made using mainly the Marina Bush Mill, a fossil fuel free machine designed and built by Mr Ruprecht in Harare in 1989. Mr Ruprecht, a Zimbabwean technician engineer, has also built some of the smallest, simple and complete eco-paper mills in Africa, which are being utilised alongside the Marina Mill in Mabvuku and elsewhere.
Running only on water, and without electricity, the hand-operated Marina Bush Mill is capable of reducing waste paper and a range of grass, leaves, bananas, river reeds or agricultural fibres such as maize and cotton into pulp within minutes.
The Mabvuku project is a poignant depiction of sustainable opportunities created during times of crisis. It shows how indigenous ordinary people can empower themselves in a world where most systems are failing due to the devastating impacts of climate change and global warming, and do so with great environmental benefits.
Mapepa started more than 20 years ago and is now spread in over 50 villages in Zimbabwe, as well as in South Africa and Botswana. Mr Ruprecht described Mapepa as an “effective and comprehensive delivery system stimulating sustainable livelihoods in communities to bring about autonomy, self-sufficiency and economic independence and bring the notion of green and clean economy to the fore of any future economic growth”.
God is faithful.