The 31-year-old is the MCA for Dandora II, but before joining politics, he rummaged through the Dandora dumpsite for four years to take care of his young wife.
“Garbage is a source of livelihood for many successful people in Dandora and the surrounding areas. We come from humble backgrounds and the only way out was to scavenge at the dumpsite,”
says the politician, a financial beneficiary of waste generated daily by Nairobi’s over four million people.
A portion of that waste ends up at the Dandora dumpsite, which has been churning out millionaires from the city’s almost dysfunctional waste disposal and management system.
Indeed, unknown to snooty Nairobians who turn up their noses when a refuse truck rattles by, the 30-acre Dandora landfill has bred tycoons whose dirty and tattered attires camouflage unbelievable riches.
Take Susan Waithera for instance. The 37-year-old sold her land in the village and made it to the city 18 years ago with just Sh5,000. She made Dandora dumpsite her base, and it’s from there that she ventured into the ‘dirty,’ waste-sorting business after failing to transit to secondary school.
Waithera is now a proud owner of a business which in a bad month fetches her about Sh2 million, as university graduates look for low-paying butt-on-a-seat soft jobs like social media marketing and ‘online customer optimization.’
Waithera lives in her own house in Dandora, has rental business premises, as well as a canter truck and pick-up. Predictably, Waithera drives to and from work in an old nondescript Toyota Noah ‘family car’, which she uses to run all her businesses
“I started collecting plastics, selling them to dealers and saving part of my daily earnings. In no time, I was collecting and buying from others who ventured into the dumpsite before I came to the city,”
explains Waithera on how it all began.
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