Senegalese students turn waste to benches to reduce environmental pollution


The act of recycling has helped many countries to create useful things from waste. Senegal is not left out among these countries. A school in Keur Moussa, 40 kilometers from Senegal’s capital Dakar, is working hard on a recycling project by making benches out of old tyres and rubbish.

The students narrated that they first fill the tyres with non-biodegradable waste and some dirt to form a strong, solid base. Once the tyres are filled with waste and sand, they are wrapped with a wire mesh and covered in a mixture of cement and water, then left to dry.

Ousmane Sow, who is the head of the project under French NGO, 3000 Ecomen explained that students now understand the usefulness of waste and as a result, gathering them to make useful things out of them.

“At first there were no garbage bins in the school, but since we started to build those recycled benches, the school started to bring some bins. What we see as rubbish, for example when someone buys a drink, they drink and throw away the bottle. It’s not like that now, what we throw away is more valuable,” he stated.

It was reported that the school authorities have launched several initiatives to fight against pollution, including a ban on plastic bags, but these have not been successful which led to more waste in and around the school.

However, Senegal produces about 2 million tonnes of waste a year. The initiative is aimed at teaching students about waste management and recycling.

“Yes it’s important that the school is clean because people come here and see a clean school, and that is good. Having a clean school is good because anybody can come here to visit, to look and so the school should be clean,” said one pupil working on the project, Oureye Diakhate.

It was confirmed that so far, more than seven benches have been built at the Keur Moussa Secondary School, and the school teachers say there is more awareness about keeping the school clean and organizing waste. The teachers have confirmed that this waste recycling act has helped to keep the school clean.

“It allowed us to pick up waste and recycle, which is already a first step towards improving the school’s environment because all the bags and empty bottles that were lying around were picked up, put inside the tyres, compacted, and that really enabled us to clean the environment around us,” said Keur Moussa Secondary School supervisor, Anis Seck.

In addition, 3000 Ecomen is a waste recycling organization that has helped many countries reduce environmental pollution. It has completed over 50 projects, building benches in school yards and other common areas. More than 16,000 tyres and 17,000 tonnes of waste have been recycled and transformed by the organization’s projects in Senegal alone.

Waste recycling has become a great deal in Africa. Many countries in Africa have proven to be wasteless societies. As a matter of fact, this has helped to reduce the level of environmental pollution in Africa and at thesame time, reduce the risk of environmental infections.

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