20 March 2019

Kenya: Slum Group Gets Dirty to Save Ngong River From Filth

On the narrow paths of Mukuru Kwa Njenga, open sewage passes under a man-made bridge. Heaps of garbage are everywhere. Mosquitoes and flies buzz everywhere. Such perils are the daily life of more than 200,000 people living in Mukuru slum.

Mukuru slum, comprising Mukuru Kwa Njenga, Mukuru Kwa Reuben and Viwandani, is one of the largest of the more than 150 informal settlements in Nairobi.

Ngong River runs through Mukuru Kaiyaba and Mukuru kwa Njenga, both populous slums whose residents dispose garbage into the river.

A youth group in Mukuru Kwa Njenga has taken upon themselves to clean the river that flows next to their homes.

Amusha youth organization started in 2005 as a football team by Michael 'Coaches' Odiyo. The group now has 20 active members.

" We are trying to rehabilitate the river around here because the place smells and looks bad. It gets worse in the rainy season. We get outbreaks of diseases because the rivers act as a dumping site for everything" said Bahati Herborn, a member.

The youth group lacks protective gears. Cleaning up Ngong River in the Mukuru section is not for the fainthearted.

The clean up is done in phases.Before each session, the youth hold talks with members of the community to sensitise them on the importance of keeping their surroundings clean

"It was hard when we started but they are responding positively. At least some have stopped through garbage in the river, but we don't know for how long because they don't have a place to dump the garbage," added Bahati

Cleaning Ng'ong river @MikeSonko @UNHABITAT @UNEnvironment @UN pic.twitter.com/8hWb3wFseF

- Amusha Youth Organization (@AmushaYouth) March 16, 2019

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