As the build up to the major cleaning scheduled for August 29, an initial project was planned for July 12. To this end, a committee of young people from 12 strategic partners representing all sectors of society was constituted one month in advance. The cleanup location was identified, and preparations were begun to make the day a success. Three main issues were addressed: mobilizing participants, legal issues and raising funds.
It was decided to focus on mobilizing people from eight areas: Dagoretti, Kamukunji, Starehe, Kasarani, Langata, Embakasi and Makadara. Each committee member generated support within his or her network. Various schools, colleges, churches and business communities within and around the cleanup areas were also earmarked as mobilization points. Letters and calls were made to offices whose participation was essential. The city administration, the administrative police from the office of the president, and government minister were also contacted. Organization were invited for the launch of the activities at 8:00 am, with work expected to continue until 1:30 pm.
The day dawned bright and warm. People showed up as early as 7:00 am ready to begin cleaning. They came from youth groups, womens groups, churches, business and the general public. Tools, gloves, and cleaning equipments were distributed as people arrived. T-shirts with the GPF log were handed out. Even the parking boys were excited about the project and willingly join the the ground of people as cleaning progressed. The cleanup took place in ten territories in the city a long the, Nairobi River namely:
1)POLICE CAMP TO MATTER HOSPITAL.
2)MATTER HOSPITAL TO MUKURU .
3)KWARUBEN TO MUKURU KWA NJENGA.
4)OUTERING ROAD TO KAYOLE
5)RACECOURSE TO UNIVERSITY
6)RACECOURSE TO KAMUKUNJI POLICE
7)GIKOMBA TO MAJENGO
8)NATIONAL YOUTH SERVICE
9)G.S.U TO HURUMA
Division of labor made the work easier and more effective, some people removed the various impoundments while others cleared the banks of the river. Even more people carted the debris to collection points where is begged and loaded into the disposal trucks denoted by city council. In addition to hundreds of tree seedlings were planted a long the river the banks to prevent erosion.
Kenya administrative police joined us, along with more than 300 cadets from the Rift Valley Academy located 200 kilometers away in the small town of Naivasha. Their headquarters is located in the western part of Nairobi along one the river tributaries. Students from neighboring schools joined in, most notably from Pendoris, the Eastleigh High School which brought hundreds of its students.
The Nairobi city council and the ministry of the Environment were very supportive. The mayor was represented and his office provided thousands of cleaning tools, two bulldozers and garbage trucks for use on that day. The police provided security throughout the day.
Thirty five community groups worked together during the project and more than thousands of people participated in the cleanup. The project was successful considering the short time and various challenges that confronted the organizers. Eco Club Action from Eastleigh High School has adopted several portion of the river in order to guarantee lasting impact of the project that will clean men and environment. My club is showing a good example so that people in that area can realize that we are living for the sake of others.