Mass clean up in Manyatta

On 20 October 2013 by From elephants to kangaroos

Since my arrival in Kisumu, one of our biggest projects was this great cleaning scheduled on Saturday, October 19 in one of the dirtiest parts of the city, Manyatta. For several weeks, so we walked the streets of the city to look for sponsors, individuals or companies that could help us fund this project, provide tools, water, people could participate with us cleaning.

After one month and a half of comings and goings in the city, meet government officials, leaders of environmental organizations, banks, hospitals, and other media, we managed to bring together a number of organizations on our side and thus we obtain everything we needed.

One of the main hospitals, the Rushia hospital, gave us some masks, gloves, goggles and garbage bags. The Red Cross lent us a tent to accommodate the people, tools, two full-time person for the big day with first aid kits. The government has lent us most of the tools that we had. The Sunset Hotel and World Vision organization paid us packs of water. KCB, one of the banks, masks, brooms and sodas. Some individuals or local environmental organizations money to pay part of the transport of all these tools as well as labor. 3 more media came to our meeting to see us the day and collect our remarks on our business, and why we were doing this.

IMG_4436Here we are, Saturday morning , 5:30 am … I woke up and the whole family is shaken to go to the place of cleaning, as the appointment was given at 9am. Tools and attempts were on hand for Friday night, guarded by one of the members of Migosi Family. At 6:30 am , here we are trying to get the ( huge ) tent next to the market, our principal place of cleaning, with a dozen men who help us. With about 15 years of assembling Ikea furniture, I fastly realized that these people did not know how to ride it. But even if I keep telling them, Kenyans need to see to believe… So it took us 1 hour and a tent that almost falls over us so that we start again with my idea. It was already 8:15 when we bring all the tools on the spot under the tent, the time to welcome everybody, to make a go / return city by picky picky at 3 on the bike to buy brooms and masks (and take the same bike without a helmet at improbable speed and 3 above, a great time ) and here we are to begin IMG_4495 the clean up. As the media are interested in my vision being given that I’m not local, I spend time answering their questions. They want to know if such things are organized in France… how can I say, half of that dirt would never be tolerated by the French so no chance of that, the system of collecting and sorting garbage is really not the same. I sometimes complain of having to do the same sort, I can tell you that when I return to my country, I will wipe even more than before and will sort without saying anything. For nothing in the world I want that dirt everywhere, so bad for your health, the environment, animals lurking everywhere and eat everything (when it’s not your children …).

IMG_4527Anyway, after 4 hours of cleaning with about 150 volunteers, separated into 4 groups in different parts of the slam, the waste is collected at defined points, and burned so that the trucks provided (which are still not past) can pick it more easily. From a French point of view, the area is still not very clean but for Kenyans, it is already a great step forward. The before / after has at least a real direct impact, hopefully now that our speech after cleaning will have an impact on people and they leave the place clean, or at least try… We’ll see in a few days !

IMG_4689After about 1 hour devoted to speeches by various stakeholders involved in this project, I ended the session by thanking all our partners (and James did the translation for the locals who do not speak English). The result is a great time of fun with family and people with whom we worked side by side, dancing, taking full of photos, share with curious children and others. The day really ends on a high note and a good atmosphere. We are very happy with our work, 1003237_10202223666822619_813099477_nour efforts paid and that’s what’s important.

We end the day by bringing back some of the tools (we have lost only one pair of gamboots and one panga, “mower” local) in pick up, thing I love, and a good shower! For me, the evening will end in the kitchen with my faithful Mercy and Amami preparing chapatis for everyone, all laughing as I rarely laughed here. Anyway, one day we like

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