Vikokotoni Environment Society

Vikokotoni Environment Society

The Vikokotoni Environment Society, or Jumuiya ya Mazingira ya jamii Vikokotoni (JMJV) in Swahili, is a Zanzibar based NGO that seeks to reduce pollution by promoting environmental awareness and sustainable waste management.

What is the issue? What does it do? What is their focus?

The community of Vikokotoni is located just on the other side of the main road from the Stone Town vegetable market, and is characterised by dense housing, small, locally-owned shops and stalls, and narrow streets. Like many other communities in Zanzibar, Vikokotoni had no house-to-house municipal solid waste collection. As a result, waste was traditionally thrown on the ground or burned. Waterways became blocked with solid waste, causing the streets to flood with contaminated water. The polluted environment was unhealthy for citizens, and unattractive to tourists who avoided the area. JMJV want to reduce pollution and promote sustainable waste management to create a clean environment for healthy living.

What is the solution? Goals and achievements!

In August 2012 Khamis Msabah Hamad and the Vikokotoni community formed the NGO Jumuia ya Jamii Vikokotoni (JMJV) (Vikokotoni Environment Society) to promote environmental awareness and clean-up activities. Since that time, members of this highly-motivated group have engaged in daily clean-ups of the streets and waterways. As an Expample, every morning at 6:00am 20 members of the clean up group sweep business roads of Vikokotoni. At the same time the other 15 members collect household rubbish from the residents.
During the collection the rubbish is separated into plastic, iron, aluminium, glass and landfill. Some of that plastic, iron and aluminium is sold to recycling places, like the Cultural Arts Centre does. Non-recyclable rubbish from the streets and the households are being brought to the governmental collection point.
JMJV has cleared a drainage channel that was completely clogged with waste and debris. More and more garbage collected there, causing dirty water to flood nearby streets. Now it is clean, and by picking up trash daily, it is no longer clogged. Meanwhile, fruit trees have been planted to create an urban food garden. Aswell they just set up a vegetable garden that is being provided with organic waste from the clean ups for fertilization.
When JMJV began, they generated their income through donations from residents and street vendors of the community; since then JMJV has been able to negotiate a contract with the Municipality, to be paid for the street cleaning; door-to-door remains as an individual household payment. Both clean ups and donation collection help to raise awareness of our garbage problem.

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