From aluminum to art: Creating livelihoods through recycling
The Zambezi region in north-eastern Namibia is a true natural paradise: Known as Namibia's green oasis, the region enchants with its verdant landscapes and great diversity of wildlife, making it a paradise for nature and wildlife lovers.
However, on the other hand, the unemployment rate in the Zambezi region is high (especially among women and youth), while skill levels are low.
Furthermore, the poor waste management system in Namibia leads to uncontrolled and illegal dumping of waste in nature, threatening the habitat of wildlife and local people.
Our joint project “From Aluminium To Art” with Chamäleon and African Monarch Lodges addresses these issues by not only creating local jobs and generating income via the sale of artefacts but also by creating awareness among locals and guests on the value of (aluminium) waste and the importance of preserving nature.
Our project is part of the holistic Sijwa project by African Monarch Lodges, which aims at improving the living conditions of the local people while simultaneously protecting the environment: For example, waste from the lodges is processed into handicrafts and young people from the surrounding communities can learn how to make handicrafts. Fresh vegetables are grown in a permaculture garden, which can be eaten directly by residents and guests in the lodges without long transport routes.
- All tin cans used from the lodges and surrounding villages as well as scrap metal lying round will be collected.
- A foundry will be built in which the tin cans and metal will be melted down.
- Individuals from the community will be trained and employed to crush the cans, to work with the foundry and to melt down the material collected.
- 182 students who are partaking in the Junior Ranger program annually will also be taught these recycling skills to raise their awareness about waste and preservation of natural resources.
- Artefacts and art objects will be created with the molten material and be sold at the centre to generate income.
- Raising awareness among locals and guests on the value of waste and the protection of natural resources from the damages of (plastic and) aluminium.
- Reducing the amount of aluminium waste in nature.
- Producing art objects from the collected aluminium waste.
- Creating job opportunities for locals through training in artisan skills.