Wednesday, 14 January 2015| By Purity Wanjohi
Yes, give Dr. Kidero a break! I am an ardent reader of newspapers. I like to know what’s happening. Unfortunately, every two weeks, my sacred reading time has to be rudely interrupted by someone complaining about the state of the Nairobi County. The first thing they always write about is how dirty Nairobi is. That just drives me up the wall and you know why? Kidero doesn’t dirtify Nairobi. You, Nairobi residents, do. Except those who come for the Mazingira Safi Initiative clean-ups.
Nairobi is a sight for sore eyes and do you know what is worse than that, an educated woman or man, throwing a plastic bottle, fruit or God knows what else out of the window of the matatu or worse off, a Range rover. Kenya boasts of educated barons. How many universities do we have per square kilometre again? And yet with all that knowledge, with over 300,000 graduates a year, we still have a dirty Nairobi!
Those who write in to complain about how dirty Nairobi is, what steps have they taken to make it less dirty? What is the probability that he/she has litters? Or that he/she has seen someone dispose something indecently and walked by telling him/her nothing? What is the probability that his/her children, nephews or cousins litter or the probability that when he/she goes for visiting day in school, they leave their spot full of trash? Let me tell you, it is about 97%.
I am tired of reading complaints in the dailies. Anyone can complain, from a 2 year old to a 100 year old. But, who is giving solutions? Let me break it down for you nice and slow. It is NOT KIDERO’S WORK TO KEEP NAIROBI CLEAN AND NEITHER IS IT THE NAIROBI COUNTY COUNCIL! IT IS YOUR WORK!!
There is only so much the government can do. There are bins in the CBD. How many people use them? Do you litter in your house? Even if NCC had 1000 lorries, with this senseless, despicable activity of littering, Nairobi would be dirty anyway. How can the NCC move from one place to another sweeping yet they are not the ones who litter? Why are you giving them responsibility of something you can change? If day in and day out they sweep the CBD, when will they ever get to sweep outside CBD? Why should they even be sweeping in the first place? It’s your trash! Put it in a bin! Therefore, before you think of complaining about how dirty Nairobi is, ask yourself if you are part of the problem or part of the solution. What are you doing to make Nairobi better? What value is your education adding to the country? Are you a complainer or a problem solver?
Littering is the simplest form of environmental degradation. There is no difference between one who is cutting down a tree and you who is littering. It is also a social evil practised by human beings, who are the most knowledgeable of all the creatures in, over and under the planet, earth and the heavens. Clearly, education does not eliminate foolishness.
Therefore, next time you see someone litter, tell them to BIN their trash. If there is no bin around, tell them to carry their trash until they find one even if it is until they get to their house. Don’t litter yourself and teach children to do the same. After writing an article or a Facebook post to complain, end the post with a solution. Nairobi is not for Dr. Kidero to keep clean. It is for you and me. Stop littering today then like Mazingira Safi Initiative on Facebook and @MsafiInitiative on twitter then, challenge your friend, neighbour and stranger to stop littering. Inspire them to tell the next person and the next. Littering is horrible. After that, sponsor a bin or adopt a highway, contributing resources to Mazingira Safi Initiative to keep streets clean and then become one of our volunteers in our monthly cleanups. After sometime, you should be able to see a change! Share this article as a first step of creating change.