Female waste pickers from Richmond Landfill (Ngozi Mine) have complained that middlemen who link them to end buyers offer extremely low prices which makes it hard for them to sustain themselves.
The waste pickers raised the complaints at a meeting held by the Matabeleland Institute for Human Rights (MIHR), Monday.
MIHR has an ongoing digital skills empowerment programme with female waste pickers at Ngozi Mine where they seek to capacitate women with knowledge and best ways in making the waste picking business sustainable for them.
Nomagugu Sibanda, one of the waste pickers, lamented that middlemen buy the waste they pick at very low prices using the rains as an excuse, resulting in them running losses.
Another waste picker, Esthel Phiri, decried lack of knowledge and equipment which would enable them to weigh the waste they pick on their own to avoid being manipulated.
She added that there is a need for them to have direct links with end buyers noting the middlemen, after under-pricing their waste, they proceed to demand that they share the money generated from sales.
MIHR coordinator, Khumbulani Maphosa, said their organisation’s programme was already in motion, adding with time the female waste pickers would have been fully capacitated to do all the processing on their own, right through to directly dealing with end buyers of their wares.