Nairobi is considered one of the best cities in Africa based on merit. We brag of a city with a national parks and animal sanctuaries, the only city in which you will have a chance to see lions, elephant, rhinos, buffalos and leopards, a city whose markets provide many locally and internationally made products, a city with lovely, cool and warm climate.
Nairobi is beautiful, yes, but there are a few issues that should to be addressed. Cleaning up Nairobi city remains one of the major challenges facing the county government. It is obvious that any growing city produces tonnes of waste on a daily basis.
In 2022, for instance, UN-Habitat reported that the greater Nairobi area generates about 3,207 tonnes of waste per day, of which, 20 per cent is plastic litter.
That is the nature of population growth in all cities across the world. The only difference from one city to the other is how waste is managed.
We should not continue lamenting and pointing fingers at each other for not cleaning up the city, instead, let us offer solutions to this challenge and practice the proposed solutions so that we can win this test together.
When we continue weeping and lamenting while doing nothing, the litter will go nowhere. We must embrace change and start doing things differently.
I take up the challenge by proposing to the Nairobi County government to consider adding well labeled litter bins within the city.
Nairobians are most likely throwing litter carelessly because they have not been provided with proper places to deposit it. Providing litter bins will make people drop trash at the right places.
Upon increment and strategic positioning of well labeled litter bins within the city, the county government should make it painful to litter the city. Let it come up with a reasonable fine that majority can afford. Whoever litters the city should be surcharged.
It will definitely hurt to be fined for throwing a banana peel anyhow. The county government can find proper ways of spending the fines in promoting service delivery to city residents. As we develop the culture of cleaning up the city through proper use of litter bins, let the county government ensure frequent emptying of the litter bins. It will be so unfair to have litter bins that are never emptied.
This is a challenge that will start with the Nairobi City County Government before the residents and visitors take it up. We cannot keep on praising other cities that have been cleaned while we do nothing with our own. Time has come when we all have to join hands and be part of the change the city needs. The government will never provide solutions to everything, especially when the citizens are not ready to partner with it.
In the words of Eliud Kipchoge, "No human is limited". Everything is possible in life, for as long as one aims at conquering their challenges.
Mr. Wanda is a teacher and commentator on topical issues