Four young innovators just rocked the house with their awesome recycling solutions. They didn’t just tackle the plastic waste problem, they also made a big impact on marine life and trees. Talk about impressive!

Let’s give a round of applause to Zainab Haidarus, Faraj Ramadhan, Churchill Muriuki, and Lawrence Kosgei. These rockstars won the Mombasa Plastics Prize awards, beating out a whopping 140 participants. That’s no small feat, my friends.

So, what did they do that was so amazing? Brace yourselves. They created the most stunning desks and chairs you’ve ever seen, and get this—they were made from recycled plastic! Can you believe it? These guys turned trash into treasure. And their incredible project earned them a whopping Sh3.5 million. Talk about making some serious cash!

But they weren’t the only ones shining bright in this competition. The second runners-up, known as the Eco Redemptors, had a genius idea. They transformed plastic waste into weaving yarns. And guess what? They used those yarns to make baskets, chairs, and even jewelry. How cool is that? They walked away with a well-deserved reward of Sh2.5 million.

Now, hold on tight because there’s more. The third runners-up, the Oceanian Pace Setters, took recycling to the next level. They built a plastic boat equipped with a plastic interceptor. This incredible invention allows them to collect plastic waste along the beaches, especially in those informal areas. Talk about turning the tide on plastic pollution! And they scored a reward of Sh1.2 million.

These three winning teams were part of a group of 140 participants who came up with innovative projects to fight plastic pollution in Mombasa. The competition, called the Mombasa Plastic Prize awards, was organized by Challenge Works and sponsored by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Global Affairs Canada. Challenge Works knows a thing or two about competitions, and they really nailed it this time.

Naomi Whitbourn, the USAID Programme Manager at Challenge Works, is super excited about the future for these innovators. USAID is launching a business incubator program to support these talented individuals for six months. They’ll get financial and non-financial support to take their ideas to the next level. And they’re even going to help them partner up with existing businesses. That’s what I call a win-win!

Jonathan Slater, the International Development Director of the MPP Prize, knows how game-changing these ideas and technologies can be. He sees the huge impact they can have on reducing plastic waste and improving conditions in informal settlements. It’s like a revolution, my friends.

One of the winners, Zainab Mahmoud, the leader of Twende Green Eco-cycle, revealed that their inspiration came from a shortage of desks and chairs in schools. They saw the problem and decided to do something about it. They recycled plastic and turned it into school furniture. How awesome is that? And they’re not stopping there. They’ve got big dreams of expanding their project to include home and office furniture. Talk about aiming high!

The achievements of these amazing innovators don’t just benefit the environment, they inspire others to join the cause. Their entrepreneurial spirit and dedication show us what’s possible when we come together for a common goal. Let’s follow their lead and make a difference, one recycled chair at a time!

And hey, big shoutout to Mombasa Governor Abdulswamad Nassir for supporting these young innovators. He knows the importance of a clean and sustainable county. He’s even planning to modernize waste collection methods and establish a waste-to-energy plant. Now that’s what I call a leader who’s got his eye on the prize!

So, let’s keep the momentum going, my friends. Let’s get out there, recycle like champions, and change the world. These innovators have shown us that when we put our minds to it, nothing is impossible. Keep up the great work, and let’s keep Mombasa—and the planet—beautiful and thriving!

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