USAFI PLUS, a local solution for sanitation in Likasi

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USAFI PLUS is a young Start Up which was created by three natives of the city of Likasi including Chris BESA, Tshitsha Tshala and the engineer Judel Mukola

First of all, the city of Likasi is located in the south-east of the Democratic Republic of Congo. More precisely, Likasi is in the province of Haut Katanga 120 km from the city of Lubumbashi with a population of around 600,000 inhabitants divided into 4 municipalities.

A timely project

USAFI PLUS has the ambition to effectively clean up the city of Likasi. Beyond that, this start-up wants to protect the environment by collecting waste from households and leftovers scattered in different corners. Then, these young entrepreneurs want to recycle waste and create as many jobs as possible for other unemployed young people.

This large project took about 3 years of research and development. This phase started in 2018 and still continues. This initiative responds to a great need. Today, the issue of sanitation is a daily struggle for the hundreds of thousands of residents of the city of Likasi.

ILLUSTRATION OF SANITATION IN IMAGES TAKEN IN DIFFERENT LOCATIONS OF THE CITY OF LIKASI

Photo credit: Edouard Kangudi

State of play

Obviously, there is a relationship between urbanization, demographic explosion and insalubrity . Consequently, the policy of changing mentality and habits is essential. For a rural population, this is only possible through strong awareness.

In addition, the city is experiencing strong demographic growth. Added to this are the inefficient sanitation systems and the growth of slums. In the same town, insufficient sanitation equipment worsens the situation. This deficiency in the sanitation system has made the living environment unsanitary.

Quite naturally, we are witnessing the expansion of diseases like malaria (87.80%), acute respiratory infections (25.87%) etc. Thus the State and the households spend a lot of money for the care of these patients.

USAFI PLUS, a plus for the city of Likasi

Clearly, the relevance of USAFI PLUS is well established. Not only does the start-up create new jobs, but she wants to allow everyone to live in good health .

However, we must recognize the efforts of Likasi City Hall since 2017 to clean up the city of Likasi. Still, we still note a lack of adequate means that can better enable the collection of garbage. For example, specific garbage trucks, appropriate garbage cans etc.

USAFI PLUS: sustainable solutions linked to the management of this waste

There are major challenges to be taken up for the protection of the environment and the recovery of this waste. Our focus is on sorting this waste into 3 categories including:

  • Ordinary household garbage made up of plastics
  • Ordinary household garbage made up of organic materials
  • Then the remaining residue to be buried in the ground

Through this major plastic waste recovery project, the challenges are as follows:

  1. Raise public awareness through the media, churches, schools, public places and door to door related. The aim is to achieve a change of mentality in the management of the environment.
  2. Train the sanitation brigade.
  3. Identify collection and sanitation points.
  4. Reduce the risk of groundwater pollution.
  5. Prevent the spread of certain diseases.
  6. Create jobs for young people.
  7. Make pavers from plastic waste.
  8. Make compost (natural fertilizer) from organic waste.

At the current stage

USAFI PLUS transforms the mobilized waste. This is plastic waste mainly consisting of plastic bottles, plastic buckets, plastic bags etc.

In addition to plastic waste, the following raw materials are added to obtain the paving stones.

  • Slag
  • White sand
  • A little bit of cement
  • Exceptional clay quality found where white sand is collected

Outstanding features of USAFI PLUS pavers

  1. Unquestionable durability that can support a weight of more than 10 tons or 30 tons depending on the variety or range of paving stone.
  2. Resistibility against rain penetration (zero water absorption)

 

USAFI PLUS partly uses raw materials from recycling. The sustainability of this initiative will prevent plastic waste from ending up on our plates. Rather, this waste will be used to build roads and support African economies.

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