Pedestrians walk past a pile of garbage along Juja Road in Huruma estate in Nairobi. Area residents have blamed county government of Nairobi for poor garbage collection. PHOTO | ANTHONY OMUYAPedestrians walk past a pile of garbage along Juja Road in Huruma estate in Nairobi. Area residents have blamed county government of Nairobi for poor garbage collection. PHOTO | ANTHONY OMUYA
By COLLINS OMULO

The county government of Nairobi has partnered with the Rwandan High Commission to Kenya to improve the cleanliness in the city.

Rwanda High Commissioner to Kenya Ambassador James Kimonyo said that the partnership has been informed by the need to replicate the steps taken by his country in keeping its environment clean here in Nairobi.

Mr Kimonyo said that Rwanda was one of the first countries to ban the use of plastics bags in 2007 before Kenya followed suit last year.

“We are happy to continue this national exercise with Rwandans living here in Nairobi but most importantly we have agreed with the county government that this exercise can only be a success if it’s done in partnership with its administration,” said Ambassador Kimonyo.

He was speaking during the marking of ‘Umuganda’, a general cleaning exercise, on Saturday at the Rwandan Embassy premises along Limuru road, Gigiri as part of activities to mark 24th Heroes Day anniversary.

The ambassador said that Nairobi was currently in a big solid waste management hole and unless a quick and sustainable solution is found, the risks around health associated with garbage and contaminated water will continue to beleaguer its people.

CLEANEST CITIES

“Kigali boasts as one of the cleanest and greenest cities in the World with no litter nor open soil. Our secret has been in behavior change as a result of strict enforcement practice in our country,” said Kimonyo

He said Rwanda was in the same state as Kenya some 14 years ago but thanks to the cleaning exercise which started in 2004, it is now green and that it was possible for Kenya to be green as well.

On his part, assistant director in charge of Environment at City Hall Mr David Makori said that Nairobi has plans to mobilise whole Nairobi populace every month to participate in a joint community cleaning exercise as part of sensitizing Nairobians on environmental management.

“The governor is glad to be associated with the Umuganda cleaning exercise and has committed to working with partners to help bring back Nairobi to its lost glory. We are ready to work with Rwanda to help in solid waste management since you have shown to the rest of the World and Africa how it is done,” said Mr Makori.

The exercise, which happens on the last Saturday of every month, brought together over 200 participants among them officials from Rwanda mission to Kenya, Nairobi County Government Officials, Rwandans living in Nairobi and their friends.

The word Umuganda can be translated as ‘coming together in common purpose to achieve an outcome’.

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