The increasing volume and complexity of waste associated with modern economies are posing a serious risk to ecosystems and human health. Every year, an estimated 11.2 billion tons of solid waste are collected worldwide, according to the United Nations (UN) Environment Programme.
For the past 20 years, a young man from the slums of Yaoundé, the capital of Cameroon, has been running a local waste collection service that has had a transformative impact on the community around him. The residential area of Melen, like most teeming city’s informal settlements, is not connected to the public garbage disposal system.
Through the Tam Tam Mobile, nearly every morning at 6 a.m., a team of young men from Melen make their way through the community. At the end of their shift, they unload their full carts at a municipal waste collection point outside the slum.
The Tam Tam Mobile initiative is supported by UN Habitat, the United Nations program working towards a better urban future.