Sonko declares first Saturday of every month as City clean-up day

President Uhuru Kenyatta, Nairobi County Governor Mike Sonko and other Government officials during a past clean up exercise. [File, Standard]

Every first Saturday of the month will from now on be dedicated towards cleaning of Nairobi City, Governor Sonko has directed.

While marking the world environmental day on Tuesday, the governor called on national environmental bodies to come with new strategies to combat garbage pollution in the capital.

Speaking in Kikuyu springs, Kiambu County, he commended efforts by the county and national governments in fighting the use of plastic bags and bottles, saying it was the right way to go.

"Our aim is to complement the efforts by the national government and other agencies such as the Nairobi regeneration committee and Nema in keeping Nairobi clean," he added.

The once in a month exercise is expected to rope in efforts from the private sector, informal sector and every Nairobi citizen.

Accompanied by environment and natural resources County executive, Larry Wambua, he also led those in attendance in planting over 2,000 trees at Kikuyu springs catchment area to mark the global June 5 event.

Notably, the spring supplies the city with 4500 cubic meters of water daily, serving Karen, Kangemi, Kawangware and Langata among others areas.

Mr Wambua on his part reiterated that in partnership with the national government, the county had increased its capacity to collect garbage and the county would be squeaky clean in three months' time.

"Cleaning will now be done through participation by community based organisations. I also urge nairobians to engage in the monthly clean-up day because cleanliness is an individual and collective responsibility," added Wambua.

In May, City Hall has announced plans to halt the renewal of garbage collection contracts and rope in the National Youth Service (NYS) for a massive clean-up exercise.

Governor Sonko that the contracts for firms hired to clean up the city and transport the waste to the Dandora dumpsite had expired.

Citing the wanting state of garbage collection in some city estates and backstreets, Sonko said his administration was not keen on renewing the contracts.

"We have decided not to renew the contracts because we are trying to avoid the same old problems. When I was younger, garbage collection was done by the defunct (Nairobi City) council. We want to revert this role to the county," he stated.

The Nairobi regeneration committee which he is the chair together with tourism Cs Najib Balala, said the Sh700 million previously used to pay garbage collection contractors would be used to pay youths to do the job.

The move to have a clean-up day is aimed at emulating Rwanda which has achieved environmental gains through such measures.

The directive comes barely a month after City hall directed that only two vehicles in a Sacco will be accessing the city stages in a bid to combat traffic congestion.