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Urban Recycling

According to Liberia’s 2008 census, close to 50% of the Liberian population is urban, while over 60% of the population is aged 35 years and below. The levels of poverty among the youths are high. Liberia is one of the fastest recovering countries in Africa however; the situation of young people remains dire and current circumstances of youth in Liberia portends serious threats to society if they are not addressed. Action Aid Liberia together with Compost Liberia are aiming at making a change for the youths in Liberia. 

A significant proportion of the young people are living in slum, poor urban areas and or other high density areas. These young people make a significant number of the unemployed with no employable skills. To address the issues of high urban poverty Action Aid Liberia in partnership with Compost Liberia currently supports sustainable youth livelihoods through agriculture and urban recycling for youths five in urban communities in Montserrado: Paynseville, Westpoint, Doe, Soniwein and New Kru Town.

The programme is built on three objectives:

  • To provide young people with practical agricultural skills to increase food security and enhance their economic independence.
  • To preserve the environment and disseminate information to urban communities on the significance of urban recycling and environmental sustainability.
  • To increase young people’s skills to advocate and campaign as well as hold duty bearers accountable.

The selling and buying of recyclables collected by the youth helps increase their economic independence, which is very important for both personal development and for the country. In the program young people are also trained in organic compost production. This type of fertilizer is less expensive and very rich in nutrients. It helps to enrich the soil and make microorganism live longer and is also good for the environment. So after gone through the training in preparing this the youths will be able to apply the compost into a type of urban agriculture initiative called: Multi Storey Garden or vertical gardening.

An equally significant part of the programme is mainstreaming governance issues within the youth groups. Through the youth urban recycling programme ActionAid Liberia has established and trained a network of youth and students activists called Activista to demand accountability from duty bearers. The network reinforces solidarity among youth and creates a space for partnership in confronting unequal and unjust power relations.