Presenting the project to Paperinkeräys Oy

I went to Paperinkeräys Oy head office in Ruoholahti, Helsinki this morning to tell about our solid waste management project in Dar es Salaam. Paperinkeräys Oy is our financial supporter – and they have been really interested in our project during the last couple of months.

There were about ten participants in the meeting, and lots of questions were presented to me. The pictures of the circumstances in Keko Mwanga B aroused the most interest as they definitely speak more than words.



Final presentations in Finland: describing our process and outcomes

The final presentations of the Sustainable Technologies Studio course were held today. During the day, many interesting projects and products were introduced to the course participants and other people involved in the course.

Johanna couldn’t make it today but María and me were able to include her in our “show”, anyway. It was eye-opening to get feedback from other students, the course head professor Olli Varis and our mentor Johanna Laaksonen.

We also asked our audience to write on Post-its what they had learned during our presentation. Many people included the composting process and the phases of composting in their answers (e.g. filling the compost in layers: dry waste, wet waste, dry again).

We will now work with the final report and with a “Waste Separation and Composting Handbook” which will be translated into Swahili and delivered to Keko Mwanga B during the summer. We have designed these handbooks especially to the PHAST team and to the primary school teachers.


Thanks to Mathilde from the urban planning group for the picture.

Posters are ready!

Just a short post about the posters… We are really proud of them – and of our mascot, “the kuku”. We got them today from the printing company as we hoped and gave them to Zita Flores (from the Sanitation group, SGT Tanzania 2013) who will deliver them to Keko.

We are now waiting for news from Keko Mwanga B: What did the teachers and kids in the primary school and the PHAST team like about the posters? Do they think that they are useful?

poster2 posters

Translation and digitalization of the posters

The first posters are now translated and digitalized!

In the translations from English to Swahili, we received valuable help from Emma Simon Palonen who is originally Tanzanian and, at the moment, Project Specialist in Aalto Global Impact. Also Mwilu, the environmental engineer we met in Tanzania, was of great help! We want to express our sincere gratitude to both of them.

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The pictures for the posters about the composting process and waste types were first drawn by hand, then photographed and cropped with an image editor program. Also everything our mascot, the kuku (chicken), says in the posters was written by hand.


María is our design specialist and did a good job with the digitalization of our drawings. Today, after many hours of work for her, we had a nice time checking the layout in the new working space created for the Creative Sustainability students in Aalto’s Arabia campus (in School of Arts, Design and Architecture).

The files were sent to a printing company and the posters should be ready tomorrow (nicely laminated to withstand the weather conditions in Tanzania). On Sunday, they will head to Tanzania with Zita Flores from the Sanitation group SGT Tanzania 2013. They have promised to deliver the posters to Keko Mwanga. Asante!

First donor for our project

On Monday we got excellent news from Teija Aarnio, who is the Business Development Manager in Paperinkeräys Oy.

Paperinkeräys Oy now confirmed that they want to participate in our project by financing our field trip costs, more precisely our flights to Tanzania. We are really grateful for their support!

As an acknowledgement, we will add the logo of Paperinkeräys Oy into our blog and our final project document.

We are also looking for additional funding. If you or someone you know is interested in sponsoring us, let us know by e.g. commenting on the post!

Poster preparations

Today we had an inspiring and productive day.

First thing in the morning was to meet Teija Aarnio from Paperinkeräys Oy. Teija is interested in participating in the financing of our project. That’s great news for us! We have tried to find financial support from different sources and it has proved to be quite challenging at this time of the year.

After lunch and “post-meeting” discussions, our group began to draft the posters that are to be delivered to Keko Mwanga B in one and a half weeks!



The first thing we wanted to tackle was composting. The poster above is now going to be translated into Swahili after which the final draft is done and digitalized. In addition to this one, also posters related to waste separation and clean environment were already sketched.

One more reason to be excited about was that we finally found the perfect mascot for both our project and the education material: a chicken – kuku in Swahili. This character can be found in the posters – and it always has something important to say.


Back in Finland

Next steps

We had a break from the project and met on Monday for the first time with the entire group to hear about the next steps of each group and to learn more about development cooperation from an NGO perspective by two representatives of UFF which aims to reduce widespread poverty through capacity building. More information about UFF on

Today we met to make the Pecha Kucha mid-review presentation for Monday. We also got familiar with our opponent Mozambique group’s project by reading their blog and thinking of questions and comments for them.

Our next steps will be 1) designing and producing educational material (posters and simplified composting handbook) for the school and the PHAST team, 2) finding funding for printing them and 3) continuing with the project document.

expe kone

Final presentations in Tanzania

Yesterday we had the final presentations at the Ardhi University. Unfortunately no professors were able to come follow the project presentations but we did have some other guests from Tanzanian and Finnish NGOs such as Art in Tanzania joining us.

Hearing other groups’ final ideas was very interesting as well as having many community members with us enjoying a Tanzanian tea after the official agenda.

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Photos by Amanda from Affordable Housing in Chamazi

Building the pilot

The challenge for today was to bring different stakeholders together, make sure everyone is aware of  the plan and committed to it.

PHAST team

Today we had a final meeting with the PHAST team and discussed about the pilot compost at the primary school. They agreed that starting composting at the school can spread both knowledge about recycling kitchen waste and behavior of composting it in the community of Keko Mwanga B. We also showed the poster drafts that we had prepared yesterday. After looking into them they found that for them manually drawn pictures were more understandable than computer made drawings.

We explained that the main product of our project is to a) design and produce education material (posters) for the school and for the community represented by PHAST team and b) provide the school and the PHAST team with a simplified composting handbook to encourage continuing and expanding the pilot project started at the school. PHAST team seemed to appreciate this solution and hoped to receive the materials.

posters compostphast
“Thank you for sharing your knowledge.”

The primary school

After the meeting we headed to the school with the PHAST team to have a workshop of composting with students and teachers. We were glad to see all of them present since the success of the project highly depends on these three parties. First we gave a brief lecture based on the waste posters and then started to build a compost with the help of one PHAST team member and two students. We had asked the teachers to bring some wet and dry waste items and a plastic bucket for us to show how composting is done. They had brought leaves, wood chips, pea peels and ugali. Below you can see a few photos of the process. Teachers and students seemed very excited with the composting pilot and promised to organize themselves in order to decide who is in charge of its  maintenance.

lecturecomoposting workshop
“The next time you come to Keko Mwanga, we will have the compost in action!”


“I learnt what composting is”

Agenda of the second workshop day in Keko Mwanga B

             Primary school visit: Breakthrough with composting

  • We met the head teacher and two PHAST team members in the school and presented our idea of creating a pilot project in composting involving teachers, students and the PHAST team.
  • We had a tour in the school premises and saw the waste corner behind one of the school buildings where all the waste is brought, piled up and tried to burn. This spot could be a potential spot for the compost, since it is already in use and there is space for it.
  • We visited three different classes, introduced ourselves and told the children that we need their help in the project.
  • We gave a lecture about waste treatment and composting to the hygiene and sanitation group (about 25 nine-year-old students from different classes) and four teachers.
  • We agreed to meet again on Wednesday afternoon to explain our project to all of the teachers and to show the waste corner to the rest of the PHAST team.IMGP0410 IMGP0442 IMGP0451 IMGP0461 IMGP0466 IMGP0529  IMGP0548IMGP0576
    The teacher asked the children what they learnt:“I learnt how to reduce, recycle and separate waste.” “I learnt how to make energy out of waste.”
    “I learnt the life of waste.”
    “I learnt how to compost food waste.”
    “I learnt how to take care of the environment.”
    “I learnt that the environment should be clean.”

    Quick walking tour in Keko Mwanga B area: Effects of rain and ignorance

  • We saw one big Temeke truck cleaning up waste from the streets after residents had dumped it there the previous day.
  • When walking down to the valley, we saw how rain water had gathered between the houses.
  • We also saw one house which had collapsed because of rain and flooding of the river.
  • We saw a river which flows between the neighbourhoods of ”Keko valley”. The river banks were covered with waste and the water was grey and not see-through.IMGP0606 IMGP0608 talo vesi