Mombasa women-led enterprise bags conservation award
What you need to know:
- Baus Taka Enterprise was recently feted among 40 innovative firms across sub-Saharan Africa in a plastic waste innovation challenge.
- The Afri-Plastics Challenge, run by innovation prize experts Challenge Works, is scaling solutions to the scourge of plastic pollution in sub-Saharan Africa.
In 2020, Dr Tayba Hatimy started a regular beach cleanup in Mombasa County to keep the environment clean.
Three years later, Baus Taka Enterprise, which she co-founded with Abdulrahman Mohamed, was recently feted among 40 innovative firms across sub-Saharan Africa in a plastic waste innovation challenge.
The Afri-Plastics Challenge, run by innovation prize experts Challenge Works, is scaling solutions to the scourge of plastic pollution in sub-Saharan Africa and is funded by the Government of Canada.
“As a woman-led enterprise, we are humbled by the recognition and the opportunity to positively impact the environment by reducing marine plastic pollution while promoting women and young girls’ empowerment in the community,” said Dr Hatimy.
The competition rewarded firms that focused on innovative solutions to managing plastic waste, reducing the volume of plastics in packaging and other products before it is used and projects to influence behaviour change among individuals and communities to promote sustainable consumption around plastic.
“As Baus Taka is a startup, we qualified and applied for the Strand 3 - promoting change. The competition ran for a year. We were shortlisted as semi-finalists, then finalists and finally made it among the three winners, each receiving an award of £250,000 (about Sh40,159,687) as the grand prize,” said Dr Hatimy.
In 2021, the organisation came up with a mobile application on waste management, the Baus Taka App.
“It is like an Uber for waste management. Instead of booking a ride, you book waste management services like recycling, beach cleanups, or selling of plastics collected for recycling,” explained Dr Hatimy.
The startup is planning to scale up their environmental conservation project across the Coast region by leveraging technology. “In addition, we plan on scaling sensitisation to responsible waste management practices, plastic segregation and trading to more schools and coastal communities,” she said.
Baus Taka has set up plastic sensitisation and collection centres at the heart of a coastal community in Old Town, which is a Unesco heritage site, as a pilot project for six months. They plan to scale to other sub-counties across Mombasa County.
The firm has six permanent employees and 20 others who work on a commission basis to help with cleanups together with schoolchildren and volunteers
"We are in this ‘stop plastic pollution’ campaign because it is said that by 2050, there will be more plastics than fish in the sea. We are out here taking climate action by making sure all the plastics we collect are recycled, “said Dr Hatimy.