For Benson Abila, Primafacie Mutua, George Bush, and all the visionary minds at M-taka, it’s more than just business. It’s a movement, a revolution to transform the lakeside city of Kisumu into a clean, circular, and environmentally conscious city.
M-taka is a tech-integrated waste management social enterprise that addresses the plastic waste challenge and other recyclables through education, collection, and increased recycling practices. Their innovative approach combines social incentives, community engagement, and data analytics to promote behaviour change and sustainable waste management practices.
“Our goal is to transform perceptions of waste, improve livelihoods, and contribute to a sustainable and inclusive future. We believe that by harnessing technology, social incentives, and a shift in behaviors, we can foster a sustainable circular economy for a greener future,” affirms Benson Abila, the founder of M-taka.
M-taka’s approach goes beyond waste management by fostering social change, dignifying waste work, and promoting responsible waste segregation. This holistic approach, they believe, bears the greatest social, environmental, and economic impact. Through the M-taka app, which is available on Google Play Store, they facilitate the collection, aggregation, and value addition of recyclables, from plastics, glass, and paper.
The enterprise offers their services to waste generators, including households, businesses, and institutions who produce and recycle waste. They aim at utilizing technology to provide real-time information, raise awareness, incentivize responsible waste management behaviors, and improve welfare of waste actors.
“Central to our approach is the strategic utilization of data, which empowers us to propel positive change and drive policy conversations. So far, we have collected and directed over 103 tonnes of recyclables towards proper recycling. We have educated over 1,140 women and 460 men at household and community level on waste management, and trained over 75 women as recycling agents,” says Primafacie.
Testament to their trailblazing run in the waste management sector, M-taka is among 99 enterprises that successfully applied to KCIC’s GreenBiz program in 2023, to benefit from technical assistance, business development, and access to finance. Funded by DANIDA, the GreenBiz program incubates and accelerates businesses with a focus on climate technologies, and targets increased commercialisation and scale up of climate enterprises, which create decent jobs, increase access to low carbon energy sources, increase community and household resilience to climate change, as well as other environmental and social benefits.
“We believe that KCIC is best positioned to help us optimize our business model, explore new technologies, and expand our reach to more communities. With this support, we will also scale our impact and position innovation and tech as a key driver in the waste management sector,” says Abila.
M-taka’s strategic partnership with Kisumu County Government and the City of Kisumu is worthy of note, as it has seen them initiate collaboration on promoting integration of technology into the waste sector, collection of data, and investment in value addition of recyclables at the City Material Recovery facility.
“M-taka Limited holds the capacity to revolutionize the Waste Management sector. As a youth-led enterprise that leverages distinctive skills and a strong passion for transforming waste into wealth, this company is poised to become a significant force in waste management in the country,” says Elizabeth Odima, who serves as a Business Analyst in the KCIC GreenBiz program.
For M-taka, waste management is not just about collecting and disposing waste, but also empowering communities, creating employment opportunities, improving livelihoods, and promoting sustainable practices. What next in their journey? Let’s watch this space!