The project is a brainchild of the cottage industry under the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security (MAFS). According to the Principal Nutrition Officer in cottage industry ’Masheleng Motso’ane, they are turning waste into a fortune. “We are making a whole new business out of waste,” Mrs Mots’oane said.
She added: “We take what would otherwise be hopelessly abandoned plastic bottles and papers among others and transform them into great products.” Products made from recycled waste are there for everyone to view at the Nutrition headquarters under the MAFS.
They include chairs, clutch bags, sleeping shoes, gift bags and mirrors just to mention but a few. The project is now being rolled out to other agriculture resource centres to benefit unemployed women in villages throughout the country.
Mrs Motso’ane said their main duty as the department was to ensure that women were able to put bread on the table. But with the growing vicissitudes of climate change the department felt the pinch of being unable to live to the earnest promise of availing food at household levels. “But instead of wailing in despair, we looked around and found means to soldier on,” she said.
Among others, she said they rummaged through the internet and discovered that the waste normally regarded as a fleabite in society could actually generate revenue for hundreds of families in Lesotho. They supplemented the knowledge they gathered from the net with skills acquired at international conferences they usually attend.
“We share with other people how they generate income in their respective countries every time we meet at international platforms,” she said, adding that recycling had now become a catch word. Late last year, Mrs Mots’oane along with seven fellow local nutritionists walked the talk.