Rwandan High Commissioner to Kenya James Kimonyo said that the partnership has been informed by the need to replicate the steps taken by his country in keeping its environment clean.
Mr Kimonyo said that Rwanda was one of the first countries to ban the use of plastic bags in 2007 before Kenya followed suit last in 2017, adding that the country has also become the first in the region to commission an ICT waste plant that has offered a solution to dangerous electronic waste coming with the information age.
“We are happy to continue this national exercise with Rwandans living here in Nairobi but most importantly we have agreed with the county government that this exercise can only be a success if it’s done in partnership with its administration,” said Mr Kimonyo.
He was speaking during the marking of ‘Umuganda’, a general cleaning exercise, on Saturday at the Rwandan Embassy premises along Limuru Road, Gigiri, as part of activities to mark the 24th Heroes Day anniversary.
The ambassador said that Nairobi is currently in a big solid waste management hole and unless a quick and sustainable solution is found, the health risks associated with garbage and contaminated water will continue to beleaguer its people.
“Kigali boasts as one of the cleanest and greenest cities in the world with no litter. Our secret has been in behaviour change as a result of strict enforcement practice in our country,” said Kimonyo who was quick to recall that Rwanda was in the same state as Kenya some 14 years ago but thanks to the cleaning exercise which started in 2004.
MAKE KENYA GREEN
He said it is possible for Kenya to be green as well.
On his part, assistant director of Environment at City Hall, Mr David Makori, said that the city county government has plans to mobilise residents every month to participate in a joint community cleaning exercise as part of sensitising Nairobians on environmental management.
“The governor is glad to be associated with the Umuganda cleaning exercise and has committed to working with partners to help bring back Nairobi to its lost glory.
“We are ready to work with Rwanda to help in solid waste management since you have shown to the rest of the world and Africa how it is done,” said Mr Makori.
The exercise, which happens on the last Saturday of every month, brought together over 200 participants among them officials from the Rwanda mission in Kenya, Nairobi County government officials, Rwandans living in Nairobi and their friends.