For many years the government of Lesotho through the Ministry of Tourism Environment and Culture has been trying to call the nation to making waste management a business opportunity to alleviate unemployment and boost economic growth.
That call was heeded by one young university drop-out by the name Kata TÅ¡ehla from Teyateyaneng in the Berea district.
TÅ¡ehla was propelled by his appreciation for cleanliness and the environment that he saw a way to improve cleanliness in the countryâ€™s urban communities while creating a thriving business.
He started the business of making bricks in all forms from recycled plastics. The young self-made environmentalist told Newsday Arts that he decided to collect plastic and other waste materials though his focus was initially on plastic which he turns into bricks.
â€œI have always loved the environment and its cleanliness so when I saw a gap in waste management companies in the country, so my love sort of triggered me to start the business.
â€œI started during the first Covid-19 lockdown in 2020 around March and all my operations take place in my yard right here in TY. I had noticed that there are not enough dumping sites or disposal areas in the country and I felt the need to do something about it,â€ TÅ¡ehla said.
Explaining how the process works, he said the collected plastics are sorted since not all are suitable for the process.
â€œI take every plastic except for Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) because it does not decompose well, the others just turn into liquid which I then mix with fine soil and that mixture goes into a brick maker,â€ he said.
TÅ¡ehla collects and buys plastics in all their forms and sizes from the community members as well as big companies he has an agreement with.
â€œMy plan is to own the biggest landfill in the country to be able to recycle everything that is recyclable and not just plastic,â€ he said.
Because he realized that the business has rapidly grown over the past year due to the demand of the bricks from the public he said he has applied for funding.
â€œStarting was not easy because some form of financing is needed, but I have been pushing but now because of the demand I had to seek funding so I am still waiting,â€ TÅ¡ehla said.