Erick Mutua Mbeva -Green Culture Community Initiative
As part of Enviro Wild’s Renewable Energy series, we feature Eric Mutua Mbeva of Green Culture Community Initiative (GCCIAFRICA), an organization that was officially launched in 2017 and is based in Kitui County. Erick’s idea is for the good of the environment- garbage collection and turning waste into energy.
What do you do exactly?
The Organization is involved in household garbage collection and turning them into highly calorific (burns for 5hrs), affordable smokeless charcoal briquettes as a form of clean energy and make durable home décor and artifacts
Erick during an exhibition
Why did you start? What was your motivation to do what you are doing?
After job searching for a long time and working in jobs that were not paying, I was forced to think out of the box. The idea of garbage collection came to mind. I had previous experience while volunteering for VSO in Kilifi. I utilized the skills to develop my ideas based on my target area, mobilized different individuals, and kick-started the initiative. With support from VSO and a few interested individuals, we started with household garbage collection. At the start, 1200 households were ready to pay Kshs.200 monthly for the service. As a result, we trained 20 youths on handicraft making.
youth from Green Culture Community Initiative at work
Do you think your initiative aims at solving environmental challenges?
My initiative is in its entirety; aims at addressing environmental problems. We are encouraging recycling- converting printing papers, newsprints, and cartons into handicrafts to reduce the number of trees cut for wood carvings. We are also making charcoal briquettes from biomass.
What is your perception towards the use of renewable energy sources?
I advocate for a circular economy. In that case, I think renewable energy is the way to go if we need to manage the ever-growing population cheaply while minimizing the harm we cause on our environment. Clean energy is a source of good health.
There is still more to be done with regards to having more people appreciate and shift to clean energy sources. Our society needs extensive sensitization, which requires a lot of funds that aren’t available. Our products are still new in the market- we need to do several demonstrations to get to many people as well as have them appreciate it.
Sample testing, licenses, and certification are also costly.
At one point, we were forced to collect what is valuable to us, that we could get for free. Handicrafts don’t fetch money as it should. As you know, carvings are perceived to be for tourists.
How are people’s perceptions towards your products?
Some appreciate while others don’t.
Any future plans for your project/initiative?
Despite the challenges, we are considering e-commerce and partnerships. We intend to contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, which is the leading cause of climate change.
contact Erick at +254 716 704844