Women Group Take Up Collection of Garbage

Published September 2, 2016 by Abdullatif Osman

Tirig and fellow group member burning garbage

Now well into her 50's, tirig wayrah has an incessant love for volunteering in her community, which driven by a relentless spirit to help. in addition to their daily chores, she and a group of women spend time carrying out sanitation work in their town. in the afternoons, she has to serve tea in the market, to make a living.

Tirig has fond memories of how a small group of women first started the sanitation work.

“I started this work 25 years ago, at a time when conditions were harsh. We have come a very long way” she says. “We did this on our own until recently, when Adeso came to give us some support.”

The women collected garbage from every corner of the town through their hands, with little or no tools at their disposal. They could then carry the waste with their hands, walking long distances to bring the waste to garbage sites.

For Tirig, this is the only way she can keep her town clean and help her family and loved ones avert the spread of diseases related to poor sanitation. Now that Adeso is involved, this also provides her with a source of income for her family, as she receives wages for her work. Adeso alos helps, the women sanitation workers with waste management tools, such as donkey carts, rakes, wheelbarrows, brooms, shovels, gloves, masks, soaps and antiseptic. They express immense joy at the impact of their work; improved hygiene for their local community, and improved working conditions.

“The wages cover our daily needs, as well as school fees and occasionally help settle loans," she says. "But it isn't just about the money. My work is driven by a commitment to save the environment, to keep it clean, to prevent against diseases." 

Despite their hard work, the women know they have a long way to go before their work is over. On a daily basis, children who collect waste from the town using donkey carts often dump that waste on the same sites the women have just cleaned. 

“You clean a site and make it super then a donkey cart comes and all of a sudden, the place is filled with garbage,” says Fadumo Sh. Nour Khalif, supervisor of the women sanitation workers in Dhoobley. “It is an ordeal we deal with every day.”

Despite the many challenges, Tirig and her team feel excited about their achievements. They are committed to working towards preserving their environment and ensure their communities lead healthy lives.

This project is made possible through Adeso's partnership with the Somalia Stability Fund