It will soon become a law for Nairobi residents to spend one day each month to clean the city.
In a move that bears similarities to Rwanda, Nairobi Metropolitan Services Major General Mohammed Badi while addressing the public on Friday, October 9 announced that “each and every Nairobi citizen is to dedicate a day each month in cleanup exercises of the area.”
“This will come into law, thus it will be a must”, Badi declared.
To realise this, Badi called upon enforcement agencies like the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) to arrest anyone discharging solid and liquid waste into any of the county’s rivers and arraign them in court.
It will not be the first time the general public will be called upon to clean up the capital. However, it will be the first time such a call will be entrenched as law.
Meanwhile the NMS alongside the Kenya Defence Forces kicked off the cleaning of the Ngong River.
Cleaning up of rivers is part of NMS’s plan to rehabilitate water bodies in the county as well as green spaces.
One of the main challenges of the clean ups is the lack of sustainability, with the city rivers infamous for carrying pungent smell and toxic waste. Many Nairobi residents rely on these rivers for domestic purposes.
Of special mention is the Nairobi River which traverses the memorial park named after John Michuki, the no-nonsense Kibaki administration Environment minister.
The river was a few decades ago sparkling clean and populated with fish, water beetles, dragon flies and other fresh water creatures.
Today, it is technically dead. It no longer supports life, except for insects that feed on dirt.
Many attempts had been made to clean it before Michuki took the bull by the horns and had it cleaned.
His successors at the ministry were not as enthusiastic to ensure the river’s cleanliness.
Environment Cabinet Secretary Keriako Tobiko in July this year announced a crackdown on river polluters.
“We are starting a 90-day crackdown today; Nema will be spearheading the crackdown from here (Michuki Memorial Park ) all the way up to the source of the river at Ondiri swamp. We will also be dealing with Nairobi River tributaries,” Tobiko announced during a clean up at the section of the rivers that passes through Michuki Memorial Park.
NEMA acting director general Mamo Mamo reinforced Tobiko’s directive, stating that his authority had directed its guns on those discharging untreated water, toxic waste and industrial waste into the river. Culprit residential establishments would not be spared.
To walk the talk, officials from the authority on Friday, July 17 arrested a landlord for directing waste from his rental houses to the Nairobi River.
The landlord is alleged to have been discharging waste into the Kirichwa Kubwa River in Dagoretti.