This project promotes recycling and raising environmental awareness in communities along a large lagoon in northeastern Honduras. “Women in Moskitia improving their socio-economic activities” trains and educates women in sold waste management and recycling, while conducting an environmental community awareness and outreach campaign. This activity cleans up the environment while providing jobs.
Rapid population growth and industry in the department of Gracias a Dios, a region also known as La Moskitia, has led to a high volume of solid waste that is spawning an environmental crisis for the wetland system around Carataska Lagoon. Solid waste, such as freezers and refrigerators that contain highly polluting heavy metals, end up lying in green areas, along roads, in the woods, and on the shores of the lagoon.
This women-led project has been recycling and promoting better solid waste management. Women collect, sort, and transport trash to the municipal crematorium, in the process diverting and reclaiming recyclables from the waste stream.
The project has made progress in building a landfill on the outskirts of the port town of Lempira, educated and trained women in solid waste management and recycling, and purchased a plant for the recycling of plastic products and cans. The activity also has an outreach and community awareness component, including television and radio spots, and educational talks in schools.
Helping the planet
The reduction of solid waste – particularly of toxic urban waste – improves the lagoon’s ecosystem. Since the region is a wildlife sanctuary, this will benefit the species that rely on the wetland ecology. Recycling reduces natural resource pressures and prevents the environmental destruction cause by the the extraction of virgin resources.
People around the lagoon also benefit from its cleanup, including through cleaner and healthier water. They enjoy a more pleasant and less hazardous environment, while women also gain job opportunities.
Many communities that are contaminated could benefit from implementing a similar model. In fact, the project is being extended to clean up other towns nearby.