Last weekend, Nairobi Governor Dr Evans Kidero decided it’s high time we cleaned up what was once deemed the Green City in the Sun. About time, I say! Nairobi has become very filthy and there seems to be no heartfelt effort to clean it up.
Every now and then, I see Unep or school kids clocking community service hours trying to clean up our city or plant more trees, start recycling initiatives and sweep up random areas. This is a hugely commendable effort but sometimes so wasted when the filth returns after a few weeks.
I’m actually quite enjoying the fact that our Governor seems determined to take this initiative. I heard his speech last week, talking about recycling and cleaning up and, as always, he has my support.
In all this, talking about recycling is all well and good but do people truly understand what recycling means? When I visited the United Kingdom with my kids last year, they asked what these large random bins with 'Recycle' printed on them were and why were there different colours. Simply put, not everything can be recycled at the same level.
There are biodegradable things that you cannot mix up with plastic or glass. Paper is also recycled separately and even offices have bins outside their establishments where paper is collected and recycled. Electronics also have separate recycling and disposal units.
Coming back to our beautiful, yet untidy country, how soon do you see this happening? Even if you were to put the bins all over the place, who is going to educate the masses on the usage of these bins?
I’m not so worried about educating the masses as much as I’m concerned about vandalism. You agree with me, don’t you? As soon as sections of the superhighway, bypasses and underpasses started getting completed, we had these ‘artistic’ folk go mad with their spray cans on the walls and pillars.
It enrages me people can be so thick. Yes, that’s what you are. You are thick and need to know public property is not meant to be defaced by your stupidity. Ask for proper channels to be allowed to let your artistic side out – don’t go defacing everything. Anyway, I’m digressing.
Coming back to recycling, it can work if we educate everyone not just on which bins to use but also on the importance of it all. Many people think they don’t have to be responsible for that plastic shopping carrier bag or the empty soft drink bottles because once it has been thrown in the bin it is out of your mind. I used to have three bins at home.
One for glass, one for plastic and one for biodegradable stuff but that soon came to an end when these guys who come to collect the rubbish would get annoyed at the three different rubbish bags lying outside and dump everything together in one heap.
See? We need to educate everyone on the importance of this before we just take token measures to keep a few people happy that our Governor is making some effort to clean up.
Do your bit today. Read up on this as much as you can, understand what recycling is all about and once armed with this knowledge, there will be no stopping you from restoring our city to what it used to be. This is not just the Government’s responsibility. It is ours too.