Scientific Publication

Gender perspectives in organic waste recycling for urban agriculture in Nairobi, Kenya


This case study presents strategies to identify and address gender issues in the project cycle of community-based compost production and briquette-making initiatives in Nairobi, Kenya. Community-based waste management and composting activities were studied in Nairobi, using a semi-structured questionnaire in a research project on organic waste management for urban and peri-urban agriculture, implemented by Urban Harvest and partners in 2003-2004. Gender issues within waste management and composting groups were documented through gender-focused group discussions, guided by a checklist, and also through interviews with key informants. As a follow-up to the organic waste-management research project, Soweto Youth in Action initiated a briquette-making action-research project in partnership with Urban Harvest and Kenya Green Towns Partnership Association in February 2007. Two baseline surveys (one on potential sources of raw materials and another on market opportunities) were carried out, using semi-structured questionnaires. Gender-responsive training courses in group development and governance (including issues of leadership, conflict resolutions, networking and advocacy, and project management) and fuel-briquette production and marketing were conducted, and a business plan and marketing brand for the fuel-briquette initiative were developed