We started working in waste management in 2010, with the motivation of cleaning up the city and improving our environment. From a business point of view my incentive came from seeing an opportunity to offer services in the waste management sector, which had no significant competitors. We started in one area in downtown Hargeisa, which we chose as it was particularly polluted. Our start here provided solid foundations for the company’s expansion into other areas of Hargeisa. Our services were professional and successful and have allowed us to continue expanding into what it is today.
In Somalia often Waste Management services serve merely to move waste from populated to uninhabited areas of the city. Tabsan Waste Management aims to improve this practice by beginning recycling services and proper disposal techniques. Such plans have led us to be named the best local waste management service by the local council in our sector.
I love the freedom that having my own business gives me; I am free to set my own goals. Pursuing my own ambitions has enabled me to offer good employment opportunities to communities where unemployment is high. There are challenges though, of course. This is an emerging sector in Somalia so our customers lack the correct storage containers for waste and tend to throw their rubbish outside. As such our employees must gather the waste by hand, a process which is both time consuming and unhygienic.
Another challenge is that the area which the business operates in is one of the poorest in Hargeisa, and so many of the residents can’t afford our waste management services, so continue to throw the rubbish into adjacent streets. Despite such obstacles the positives outweigh the negatives. My ability to provide jobs to my neighbours, when employment opportunities remain scarce, makes me very proud.
What is your personal ambition?
I would like to see our company diversify into recycling, because protecting the environment is a very important issue in Hargeisa. Environmental degradation is a growing concern in Hargeisa, as plastic bags, plastic bottles are littered widely due to a lack of education on the environmental damage such habits create. For this reason I would like to create a social side to the business, running campaigns to educate people in regards to proper disposal of waste items and to educate in regards to recycling.
What impact do you see your business making?
My business is concentrated on improving the environment, which is an important issue in Hargeisa. I would like my business to impact positively on our employees, by offering them good employment and training opportunities. My business will have a positive effect on the local community as our services will improve the immediate environment, making it more sanitary, and also by employing local people improve the economic environment. Currently we employ 110 staff all of whom have families.
How do you see the future of your business?
We started our company from scratch and now we offer waste management services throughout the whole area of Gacan Libaax in Hargeisa, an area roughly a quarter the size of the city. We started with 10 employees and 2 cars when we founded the business in 2010; in 2015 we have grown to have 12 small trucks and 110 staff employed in a range of positions from drivers, administrative staff, marketing and sales.