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Maseru

Bricks from plastic

Business

Chris Theko

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. 

Tšehla was propelled by his appreciation for cleanliness and the environment that he saw a way to improve cleanliness in the country’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. 

“I 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.

“I 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,” TÅ¡ehla said. 

Explaining how the process works, he said the collected plastics are sorted since not all are suitable for the process. 

“I 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,” 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. 

“My plan is to own the biggest landfill in the country to be able to recycle everything that is recyclable and not just plastic,” 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.

“Starting 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,” TÅ¡ehla said.          

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