Kenyan Turns Slum Venture Into Multi-Million Company

  • Harrison Oloo during an interview in December 15
    Harrison Oloo during an interview on December 15
    Nation Tv
  • Across Kenya, hundreds of tonnes of plastic lie untouched in Kenya's capital. On the outskirts of the sprawling city festers Dandora dumpsite.

    Despite a pioneering ban on single plastics in 2017, Kenya is still drowning in the never-ending menace that has led to an uncountable number of disasters ranging from clogging waterways, road blockage, an entanglement of hundreds of marine species to the spread of diseases.

    But, while a good number of people look at the dumpsite and see an insurmountable mountain of plastic, one Harrison Oloo, a hopeful innovative has found an ingenious solution for plastic waste.

    What began as an unflinching urge to care for the environment has transformed into an unquenchable passion that has seen his idea grow into a multi-million company.

    Dandora Dumpsite ON DECEMBER 15
    Dandora Dumpsite December 15

    In an interview with Nation, he intimated that he began the business out of a passion for environmental conservation, adding that seeing people throw plastic from car windows drove him to start the business.

    ''We started the initiative because of Environmental issues that we had in the area, people were just throwing waste everywhere, whenever you walk, you see someone throwing plastic waste through the car window, this is what drove us to start the business,'' he narrated.

    Starting up with a seed capital of Ksh 150,000, the company, which began as a waste transporting business, has grown into a multi-million venture and has created job opportunities for youths in the region.

    The innovative entrepreneur narrated that for him the business is all about environment conservation for the future generations to come and not for money. 

    ''I look at my little children, and probably my grandchildren who are yet to come, and ask myself what kind of environment are they going to live in.

    ''This bothers me so much, so when I look at this project, I want any other person who comes after me to push for the initiative so that we can have a clean and better environment to live in,'' he added.

    The initiative involves the collection of trash from the dumpsite and sorting out plastic waste before transporting it to manufacturing companies such as Wicko and EPZ. The companies then recycle the materials before ferrying them abroad to beverage companies among others.

    Currently, Mr. Oloo has employed over 20 youths who conduct the packaging process of dumped plastic wastes from trash to better appealing materials. The entrepreneur makes up to Ksh1 million per order. 

    Speaking on challenges he has encountered, Oloo noted that high license charges from the government have been a hindrance to his plans towards expanding the business,

    Similarly, the company recycles used cooking oil from hotels to make bar soaps for sale. Oloo noted that he purchases the used cooking oil from hotels to help curb pollution from companies through oil spillage.

    Group Turning Trash Into Cash
    Group Turning Trash Into Cash