Momo Pencils: Enterprising Brothers Converting Recycled Newspapers To Pencils

 By Prudence Minayo 

Pencils are one of the contributing factors to deforestation in the world. The United Nations estimates that about 8 million trees are cut down every year in order to manufacture pencils.

MOMO is a pencils manufacturer headed by brothers Mohamud Omari and Rashid Omari. Based in Athi River, the company’s aim is to preserve the environment by reducing the cutting down of trees to make pencils.

They use their pencils to tell people the story of climate change.

The Process

The company recycles old newspapers into pencils using glue. With this, not only are they curbing deforestation but they are also reducing the waste menace caused by newspapers.

Mohamud Omari and his brother Rashid Omari


They purchase a kilogram of newspapers for Ksh70 to Sh100 Shillings. They also source old newspapers from houses and businesses across Nairobi.

To make the pencils, they cut the newspapers into specific sizes, then glue graphite to them. The newspaper cuttings attached to the graphites are then put into a rolling machine which rolls and
compresses them into cylindrical shapes. The glue process is very crucial and needs a lot of training to perfect.

If too much glue is used, the pencil will take a longer time to dry. After drying them in the sun for three days, the pencil surfaces are smoothened by hand.

They are then compressed, laminated before being packed. Before lamination, the pencils are also imprinted with different designs.

Goals and challenges

The company’s goal in the coming years is that students around the country would use their pencils instead of the regular ones.

“We want each and every child in Kenya who goes to school to use our pencils, and at the same time, be able to play trees through our pencil. This way, we will reduce the number of trees cut,” he was quoted by Africa News.

MOMO also gives back to the society by providing learners from low income areas with pencils. Annually, they donate about 3,000 pencils.

Once they visit schools, they educate about the effects of climate change and plant trees within the school. Their target clients are organizations that support conservation of the environment and support eco-friendly practices.

One of their biggest challenge is finding clients due to their high costs. These costs are hard to reduce since even their employees are paid about Sh2,000 daily, more than what most employers pay.