Various community-based organisations (CBOs) in Kisumu County have come together in an effort to create awareness about environmental conservation and clean-up exercises to uphold the principles of World Clean-Up Day.
According to Mr. Tom Ogalo, the coordinator of the event and founder of Jijenge Youth Organisation, the global activity carried out every third Saturday of September was conducted this year with the goal of reducing waste at the source.
“World Clean-up Day brings the community together to raise awareness about the importance of maintaining a clean and safe environment. We have to reduce this waste at its source, which in this case is the slum areas around Kisumu. The only way to do this is by giving our community the right knowledge through sensitization to take care of the environment,” said Mr. Ogalo.
Mr. Kelvin Otieno, an environmentalist, speaking during the clean-up drive on Friday, explained that the three-day initiative targets to clean up a kilometre every day covering the Kenya Medical Training College (KMTC) Kisumu campus, Manyatta Chief’s Camp, and St. Teresa Girls Secondary School Kibuye before finalising the exercise at Maseno University on Saturday.
“The original plan involved doing a cleanup for a single day, but we received requests from Maseno and the KMTC Kisumu campus to include them in this year’s activities. Since the youth make up a large population of our society, we gave them an opportunity to participate in the conservation of the environment,” emphasised Mr. Otieno.
He believes that every individual plays a vital role in environmental conservation and that, while in most cases, the practical environmental work is assigned to given institutions and government departments, conserving the environment is a collective responsibility.
The annual activity is observed under the premises of this year’s theme, ‘The world is changed by your example, not by your opinion’ implying that it is a joint measure by all individuals to join hands in conserving the environment to save the future of tomorrow.
This year’s World Clean-Up Day has attracted up to 300 participants, many of whom are members of community-based organisations, including Homeless of Kisumu, Let’s Do It Kenya, Better Me, and the Jijenge Youth Organisation.
By Zipporah Akoth and Feliciah Wanyonyi