Burning rubbish is a common sight in Karachi, a city that produces 12,000 tonnes of it a day.
“I used to get very mad when garbage was burned,”Nargis Latif explains, remembering a street sweeper who used to burn it in her neighbourhood.
So, as her condition improved, Latif started to research ways of making use of that rubbish.
After a year of research, she created the Gul Bahao (flow the flowers) project.
With her “team of environmentalists”, Latif devises ways of using rubbish to create houses, water reservoirs, fodder for livestock and instant compost.
“This hasn’t been easy,” she says. “I realised I had to dedicate my whole life to it. Once you commit, you can’t back out.”
“It was also a difficult decision because my father was against it. He told me not to get into this, otherwise, I will be destroyed.”
But Latif remained adamant that there was life left in the rubbish that was being disposed of, particularly the plastic.
Gul Bahao started off 22 years ago with an “army” of more than 70 boys from Uzbekistan, who helped Latif collect plastic, vegetable and fruit peels, and other material from all over Karachi.
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