Shipibo Community Organizes Mass Clean-Up

(Community members show off new waste management program)

Enthusiasm has gripped Puerto Belen, where just two months ago Alianza Arkana initiated our waste management programme. On Thursday and Friday of last week, locals gathered to clean up the trash that in recent years has accumulated in their streets, in and outside their gardens, and by the stream that runs alongside the community.

In each of the community’s five neighbourhoods, locals worked together to gather and separate their waste. Many also introduced their own innovations, such as decorating lamp posts and making signs to encourage disposing of products adequately. One neighbourhood even introduced their own recycling centre. Alianza Arkana is also building a Reuse Recovery Centre, located in the middle of Puerto Belen, where all waste products will be centralised before being upcycled.

Construction of the Resource Recovery Center

Alianza Arkana awarded prizes to the 3 neighbourhoods that had cleaned and made greatest improvements to their surroundings. On winning 1st place, the residents of Antonio Lomas neighbourhood declared they would use the prize (sacks of rice and sugar) for another minga (communal work day) to continue efforts to clean the banks of the stream, scheduled for this Thursday. They also insisted it was time to break the habit of throwing their garbage in the street or the river.

Local Children fill Eco-Bricks for the construction of a community bench

Much of the garbage collected was stuffed into plastic bottles to make eco-bricks. These are to be used in the development of a new eco-park in the heart of the community. Alianza Arkana will build a circular bench around a mango tree, as we have done in similar constructions in Dinamarca and Nueva Ahuaypa. Simultaneously, two compost toilets are going to be renovated, and the manure from both used to fill in the space behind the bench, thereby fertilising the mango tree.

The commitment towards these projects was palpable during Alianza Arkana’s recent visit. Children voluntarily joined an impromptu clean up in an area not covered during the previous two day minga. We left with clear signs Alianza Arkana’s community based solutions are being enthusiastically adopted, especially by the new generation.

Deborah Rivett, Tuesday, 27 November 2012

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