Youth volunteer to clean up Mombasa's largest slum on the beach Muoroto

Members of the Mombasa based "Youth For Change and Development Forum" in a clean up exercise around Mombasa's Tudor Muoroto Simitini slums .[Maarufu Mohamed, Standard]

Efforts to clean one of the largest slums on the beach, Muoroto, Tudor ward, Mombasa County got a notch higher when a group of volunteers under the aegis of the Youth for Change Development descended on the village to collect litter and carry out sensitisation on a cleaner environment.

The volunteers led by Mr Benedict Maneno, the group chairman, collected garbage, drained clogged sewer lines and swept compounds in a day long activity that also saw villagers join in the exercise.

''A clean surrounding is attractive and free of diseases,'' Maneno said.

He said that they had selected Muoroto slums that is home to an estimated 500 homes for their initial clean up campaign.

''There are many people living here. They need proper sanitation and clean environment .We have also sensitised them not to throw litter into the open sea as pollution from dirt emanating from homes is dangerous to marine environment,'' he said.

He added that they will ensure that they install trash bins in the village slum where people can be depositing dirt before it is transferred to the Municipal dumpsite.

The clean-up exercise comes at a time when the County Government of Mombasa is firming up plans to fast tracking the enactment of the beach management bill.

The bill is expected to have policies and regulations that would help achieve this goal. 

Mombasa County Tourism Chief Officer, Mr Innocent Mugabe said that there will be massive stakeholder involvement to make the new bill a success. 

“We want to have an all-inclusive bill hence the need for all stakeholders’ participation. We are keen to have a clean, safe and healthy beach environment both for recreation uses for residents and visitors alike,'' he said. 

Mugabe stressed that above all, the new bill will serve to largely protect the marine eco-system. 

He said that already an audit exercise to identify genuine beach traders shall be carried out to ensure the beaches are clear if fraudulent characters who have given Mombasa and the Kenyan beaches a bad name. 

''We still get reports of harassment of tourists who flock the beaches. This is one thing we are keen to tackle and ensure that our beaches are free of any form of harassment for beach goers,'' Mugabe said. 

The initiative by the Mombasa County Government comes at the back of challenges facing beach management efforts. 

 According to a report compiled from a Kenya Association of Hotel Keepers and Caterers (KAHC), the challenges include unregulated operators, harassment of visitors, conflict among beach users, water pollution, dredging and destruction of natural habitat though sand mining among others. 

Kenya Association of Hotelkeepers and Caterers (Kahc) Coast branch Executive officer, Mr Sam Ikwaye, lauded efforts by Mombasa County government to come up with a bill to regularise beach management and ensure cleaner and attractive beaches.