Mombasa, Kenya 18 September 2018--UN-Habitat Executive Director, Maimunah Mohd Sharif, joined hundreds of Mombasa residents to take part in a clean up campaign to mark World Cleanup Day. The worldwide event  saw millions of people in over 150 countries joined hands as part of  the Let’s Do It movement to clean up the world.

In Mombasa participants included National Government officials, the County Government of Mombasa, UN-Habitat, UN Environment, the American Embassy in Kenya, the Kenya Alliance of Residents Association, the Kenya Red Cross, academic institutions and  local residents.

In his speech, the Environment and Forestry Cabinet Secretary,  Mr. Keriako Tobiko emphasized that Kenya Vision 2030 picked waste management as a major national issue that needed to be addressed urgently. He said his Ministry had developed several related policies including one addressing waste management. Mr. Tobiko said he was impressed that several counties have set up monthly clean ups to improve waste management and he called for increased public participation in them.

The UN-Habitat Executive Director, Maimunah Mohd Sharif, expressed her gratitude to the Kenyan Government , the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, and  the County Government of Mombasa for keeping the city clean and encouraged them to keep up their work.

“There is great potential for the private sector and industries to not only reduce waste generation but to make their operations more profitable by “re-thinking” waste,” she said. “On 1 October we will celebrate the World Habitat Day global observance hosted by Kenya with the theme of  Municipal Solid Waste Management. We are promoting Waste-wise Cities and the idea that waste can be a resource rather than  a problem. UN-Habitat is ready to support the Government and local communities in addressing municipal waste management challenges in the context of sustainable urbanization.”

Mr. Cyrille-Lazare Siewe,  Coordinator of the UN Environment Kenya Country Programme  emphasized that “we have to do everything we can to make sure that the environment is protected, as this is a resource.”

The Deputy Governor of Mombasa, Dr. William Kingi said the day provided an opportunity to focus on the environment.  ”We are now implementing our integrated waste management plan. Our solid waste collection has increased from 30 to 60 per cent and we are sure that with support from our partners  here today we will be able to increase our collection to 80 per ent. I am looking forward to having Mombasa County as the first clean city in Kenya and l believe that with strategic partnerships we can achieve this.”

Dr. Godfrey Nato, the County Minister for Environment, Waste Management and Energy thanked all those who had taken part in awareness week, saying they had organized and participated in a  week long buildup of events. “Today we held five different several clean ups in the city of Mombasa,” he said. “As a County we have put in place a legal framework through Mombasa County Solid Waste Management Act and we are in the process of enacting it which should help us manage our waste better.”