What will you do if you are trapped in a plastic jungle, where sanitation is almost nil, and you don’t know where to pee or defecate? Well, this Uganda man is reducing plastic pollution in style. But, how? He is turning crisis into opportunity.
Patrick Mujuzi, the founder of Bottle Brick Project has found an innovative way to provide employment to people by building public toilets from the discarded plastic bottles in the areas of Kamwokya, Kampala in Uganda.
To restore hygiene and provide employment in these areas, this man has employed 400 locals from the area and has made a public toilet from 15000 plastic bottles in a month.
The existing toilets are not properly maintained and therefore sanitation is always compromised in these areas. While talking to Zoomin TV, Patrick says how due to lack of proper toilets, people “defecate in the polythene and tie them to throw them away.” And “when the children are looking for scrap for survival, they end up touching in there,” he adds.
Therefore, the health of these children is hanging by a thread and diseases like cholera and typhoid are also on the rise.
“The idea behind the Bottle Brick Project was to create employment and mostly, the second one was to save the environment,” says Patrick.
“We go with them to the areas which are mostly littered like the dustbins and the trenches, then we get the polythene, we sort them, we dry them because like mostly those ones that we got from the trenches, they come when they are wet, so we sundry them, then we sort them and start packing,” he said.
The payment is made according to the number of bottles he or she has produced in a day. Once the bottles get ready, the team looks for cement and check the sites where the condition is worse and need the help of toilets.
And why is it 100 times more durable than a toilet made out of bricks? “Because the plastic bottles and the polythene inside can’t be affected by strong sunshine, rain or by any kind of weather,” he says.
While talking to the TV channel, a local from one of these areas said, “Life in a ghetto is hard, because apart from many things, people talk about you bad. You can get a bad chance and associate with bad people. Patrick, I take him as someone who has changed my life, cause he was the first person to employ me, he provided me somewhere to sleep, he provided me food and he employed me on some of his projects where I got money. So I really pass maximum respect to Mr. Patrick.”
It makes Patrick happy to see the polluted area slowly getting cleaned because the littered plastic is being collected and put to good use, as this was the main purpose of starting this project.