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NGO launches cleanup drive in Mombasa

Center for Water Governance (CWG) a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) has embarked on a massive cleanup exercise to rid Mombasa of filth.
The exercise include the cleaning of gutters, weeding, sweeping, gathering and loading garbage into country trucks for disposal in designated zones.
The NGO has also began distributing brooms, wheelbarrows, shovels, rakes and waste bins and other materials needed for the cleanup to the communities.
The pilling heaps of trash has been blamed on the intermittent outbreaks of malaria, ‘chikungunya’, dengue fever and other mosquito-borne diseases linked to poor sanitation.
Residents living in estates that have no garbage collection services were dumping their trash on streets, thus compounding the ever-increasing litter that is swamping the town.
Sections of the town look like dumping sites as the waste is dumped haphazardly.
A spot check by KNA revealed that some roads within the town were gradually being narrowed due to the regular dumping of refuse along those stretches.
The initiative comes after a public outcry that Mombasa is choking under putrid piles of rotting garbage that dot the landscape.
There has been growing concern over the improper management of waste during the rainy season, with fears that it may result in devastating health effects, which may include water borne diseases such as cholera, typhoid and dysentery.
In the cleanup exercise dubbed ‘Talanta Na Usafi campaign 2018’ scores of volunteers donning gloves, boots and nose masks for protection are being mobilised to sweep debris from the streets and clean the drains.
In Nyali constituency where the inaugural cleanup exercise started before being scaled up to the six sub counties of Mombasa, volunteers swept pavements, streets and alleyways and desilted gutters.
The cleanup exercise is collaboration between the water NGO, Mombasa county government and the Kenya Ports Authority.
The lobby group’s executive director Victoria Nzioki said they decided to hold the cleanup exercise during the rainy season, as garbage pile-ups and scattered litter have adverse effects on the drainage.
She urged community leaders to mobilise people and get them to clean their environment in a bid to curtail the spread of ‘chikungunya’ and dengue fever epidemic.
“The rainy season is upon us and it is therefore imperative for all and sundry to up their efforts in cleaning the environment to avert outbreak of water borne diseases,” she said.
Ms. Nzioki said they undertook the exercise following the proliferation of heaps of uncollected garbage and trash in the town and asked residents to maintain the spirit of cleanliness and hygiene at all times.
She told KNA that the campaign seeks to make a difference in the tourist resort town and to help to build a better Mombasa.
The lawyer-turned environmentalist warned people to avoid dumping waste at street corners and open spaces and instead use designated spots.
“We hope the campaign will encourage people to take more pride living in a cleaner and safer town,” she said, urging residents to ensure that cleanliness remains the responsibility of each citizen as opposed to being left to the county government alone.
Ms. Nzioki said the cleanup exercise is aimed at giving the tourist resort city a facelift and that it will be held regularly in the face of an environmental threat.
Mombasa senator Mohamed Faki said littering was a big problem in the tourist resort town and that there was need to encourage residents to desist from dumping rubbish in undesignated places.
He urged the county government to scale up clearing garbage heaps in various parts of the city to avert possible disease outbreaks.
The senator urged residents to embrace the cleanup campaign saying it would help reduce conditions that breed diseases.
Faki appealed to the media to embark on a sensitization campaign on good sanitation practices.
He said although the seaside city remains the country’s tourism hub, its state of environmental hygiene presents a major concern to both local and international visitors.
Mombasa produces 800 tons of trash daily and uses open dumping of waste disposal and environmentalists have warned that it is unsustainable and detrimental to human health.
By Hussein Abdullahi

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