- Malindi green and blue movement is the brainchild of the Progressive Welfare Association of Malindi aimed at sensitising residents on the importance of keeping the environment clean.
- The association organises clean up exercises every second Saturday of the month.
Youth in Malindi are ripping the fruits of solid waste management after engaging in the monthly clean-up exercise aimed at making the resort town green and blue again.
The youth, majority of whom were jobless, have now begun making useful products from the waste being collected which generates income and at the same time supports the management of solid waste in the town.
Malindi green and blue movement is the brainchild of the Progressive Welfare Association of Malindi aimed at sensitising residents on the importance of keeping the environment clean.
The association organises clean up exercises every second Saturday of the month.
It brings together different stakeholders including hoteliers, youth, police, KWS, business community, airline companies such as Skyward express, banks, government departments from both counties and national together.
So far there have been 15 clean-up exercises and already there are bout three youth groups that have begun initiatives of making cash out of the trash.
George Kombe one of the youth leaders said they have been voluntarily cleaning the town as they believe it's their responsibility to live in a clean environment.
Speaking during this month's clean-up at Santafee area in Maweni, Kombe said the clean-up has created good relations among KWS, Police, KFS and other government institutions.
''There are other youths who have got employment opportunities, they are now self-employed courtesy of the cleanup, we have like two or three companies in Malindi who are collecting garbage from house-to-house and are paid at the end of the month," he said.
Kombe said the county government should increase the number of youth who take up the clean-up exercise to ensure the town is cleaner.
He said currently many youths were absorbed in the Kazi mtaani work and thanked the President for extending the programme to June.
"The county government through the environment department should come up with a programme to employ youth even on a casual basis so that every morning they clean the town," he said.
Kombe also urged companies making chewing gums used by those chewing Muguka or Miraa to donate dust bins to reduce the waste being dumped carelessly in the town.
He said they have discovered from the clean ups that the chewing gums make up the bulk of the waste and are a threat to the environment.
Malindi deputy sub-county police commander Simon Muli who was among the participants said they are happy to be part of the clean up programme as it has enabled them to create a good relationship with the public.
Muli said the aim of the clean-up is to ensure the town is clean and sensitise residents on the importance of living in a good environment.
''There has been a notion that police are bad to the public, people having no faith in the security personnel, they assume getting close to officers will lead to an arrest. But today it was clear that despite doing their work of maintaining law and order, police can cooperate with the public to collect garbage,'' he said.
Progressive Welfare Association chairperson Kate Mwikali said the Malindi green and blue movement which was initiated in April 2019 has had a lot of progress in solid waste management.
She said before they started, there was no direction regarding the clean-ups as different groups were doing the same thing but now they have all came together with one goal of cleaning the town and creating opportunities for the youth.
"It's an avenue for job creation and we have seen how Kazi mtaani has created jobs," she said.
Mwikali said the youth now understand that garbage collection has many job opportunities urging youth to come up with programmes that will generate income from the wastes.
Eng Nichodemus Kerongo in charge of roads section Kilifi county said they are encouraging youth in Malindi to join the clean up so as to keep the town clean.
He said they have employed about 20 youth who are in charge of drainage while 50 others clean the streets.
Kerongo said they would like to empower youth through Mbegu funds so that they can be able to get funds to buy equipment for cleaning the town and get income from it.
-Edited by Sarah Kanyara