The Effel Towers in Paris is a known landmark world over but the major tourist destination in Paris is actually River Seine which divides the City into two. The river is one of the safest sources of water for both human consumption and animal usage. The French people take pride of it and in fact you will get a 5 year jail if found spitting into it.
Our capital city, Nairobi has several rivers; Nairobi River, Mbagathi River, Kibarage River, Mathare River among others, all these transcend our beautiful city. Nairobi is a Maasai name meaning cool waters. The sad news is that the said rivers are heavily polluted with all sorts of waste ranging from raw sewer, plastics, to even some becoming dumpsites.
Mbagathi River snakes through the edge of Nairobi which borders Kajiado. In fact it forms the boundary between these two counties. Its importance is paramount to the surrounding ecosystem as it passes through the Nairobi National Park, serving all the wild animals and and many lives downstream. We are very quick in pointing out how insecurity threats scare away tourist but turning a blind eye to what really attracts tourist – polluted rivers
A century ago, the Indians constructing the rail drew and drank their water directly from Mbagathi River. Yes that is how safe it was then. The amount of litter in Mbagathi River is an eyesore and a danger to the livelihoods downstream. It is with that urgency that the Consumer Grassroots Association and Dawoodi Bohras community in Karen have initiated a clean up of the river.
The clean up exercise will be done every Sunday from 8:30am to 11:30am. The project sought to improve the lifeline of the river as it will include rehabilitating and beautifying the cleaned area. Trap nets will also installed along the inlets of water ways in order to trap the litter which will be regularly collected. The project will also bring in the aspect of circular economy, the collected plastics will be collected and recycled to generate income to the youths who will be working on the project.
Did you know that Paris despite being busy and more populated than Nairobi, people still swim in River seine without any fear of being infected by diseases? Mbagathi River with a well coordinated and regular clean up, it will regain her glory back. Though not to be a drinkable state.
Wangari Maathai was once quoted “you cannot protect the environment unless you empower people, you inform them and help them understand that these resources are their own and that they must protect them” it’s for the above conviction that Consumer Grassroots Association, is ready to invest in capacity building of every person within our reach to ensure they get back what was given to Us by God.
No one has the right to use Kenya’s rivers and waterways that belongs to the people as sewer. The banks of a river may belong to one man or one industry or a state, but the waters which flow between the banks should belong to all the people. YOU and I are the people; let’s strive to leave Mbagathi River better than we found it so that our children and grandchildren don’t blame us for the mess.