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Three insights from our July 2019 cleanups - Mazingira Safi Initiative
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On Saturday 27th July 2019, we, Mazingira Safi Initiative (MSI) held our first cleanup of 2019. This was done in partnership with the Nairobi County Council Environmental Department of the Kilimani Ward. It was an exciting venture not only for the organizers but also for the MSI and NCC volunteers who were involved. We swept the drainage and removed lots of litter from it, slashed the grass and collected litter from the walkways. We also interacted with the members of the public and had enriching conversations with them. Today we share three recommendations from the cleanup.

  • We should consider not eating while on transit

Most of the trash we collected was generated from single use items and related to food. We collected plastic cups used to serve tea and coffee to hawkers, plastic bottles, yoghurt packets, sweets, chewing gum and biscuit wrappers. Most of these foods are eaten while people are moving from one place to another. Studies have shown that most of the littering is done by motorists and pedestrians. It’s therefore suffice to acknowledge that if we stopped eating while travelling, we would generate less litter.

  • Poor waste management is a result of poor litter management

Every garbage dump began as one piece of trash left uncollected for a significant period of time. By dealing with the small pieces of litter as quickly as possible, we reduce the instances of them accumulating. People also litter often in places that are dirty. It’s just human behaviour. Therefore, keeping our streets clean and, putting up and maintaining litter bins keeps litter away.

  • Nairobians have decided to live in filth.

Yes, Nairobians have decided to live in filth.  As we labored that Saturday, we were appalled by the amount of trash we collected. Mind you that this trash was collected right next to a hotel, business stalls, apartments, two popular malls and hawkers selling food and wares. Every day, these people walk and drive by such filth and are content to walk and drive by it day in, day out, 24/7, 365 days a year. We have absolutely no excuse for living in a dirty environment. We have just made a conscious decision to live and do business in one.

That having been said, here are three pictures from that day. More can be found here.

The MSI and NCC team before the cleanup.
Before and after photo of a section of the road. Taken from different angles.
Another before and after photo.

Finally, thank you to all who participated. God bless you. We shall be having another one soon. Keep it here for more details.

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