Hundreds Join UNHCR Eastleigh Clean-Up Exercise

Hundreds attended the one day clean-up exercise in Eastleigh organised by UNHCR jointly with partners in collaboration with the County Government of Nairobi.

Kamukunji Member of Parliament Hon Yussuf Hassan spearheaded the clean-up emphasized that cleanliness was essential to reducing the rising burden of communicable Photo UNHCR/P. Ogola

NAIROBI, Kenya 28th August 2015 (UNHCR) – Hundreds attended the one day clean-up exercise in Eastleigh organized by UNHCR jointly with partners in collaboration with the County Government of Nairobi. The Clean-up exercise was under the theme Maisha Bora, Afya Bora (Clean Environment for Healthy Life).

The preparation also included the area Sub-county government leadership, local organizations and religious leaders in Eastleigh. The cleaning excise involved picking and proper disposal of littered waste. It begun at 9:00 am with participants marching off from the Equity Bank branch in Eastleigh picking garbage and loading it into County Council trucks for disposal.

Jackson Karugu, UNHCR Community Services Associate, reiterated that the clean-up exercise in Eastleigh was mooted jointly with partners to not only raise awareness on the importance of a clean environment but also to build and enhance a positive image of refugees and asylum seekers in the eyes of their neighbours (Kenyans) and government authorities. “The exercise aimed to improve the relationship between refugees and asylum seekers and their Kenyan hosts has been accepted and taken positively by the Eastleigh community” said Karugu.

Speaking during the exercise, County Executive Environment Officer, Mr Evans Ondieki urged residents to ensure that the cleanliness remains the responsibility of each citizen as opposed to being left to the county government alone.

Area Member Of Parliament (MP) Honourable Yussuf Hassan who spearheaded the clean-up emphasized that cleanliness was essential to reducing the rising burden of communicable diseases” I want to express my appreciation to UNHCR and its partners for helping us deal with our sanitation and garbage.” Said Hon Yusuf. “Sanitation is an important factor in our lives as human beings. A clean society is a healthy society, we should all put our effort to make our neighbourhood cleaner and safer.” Said Yussuf.

“On behalf of the Refugees community I want to thank UNHCR for championing such initiatives which will help change the way people perceive refugees in the host communities” Bashir Warsame – Somali community leader speaking after the clean-up exercise.

After the clean-up exercise a sensitization forum graced by area Member of Parliament and County Government official was held at St. Teresa’s Catholic Church in Eastleigh on the importance of keeping our environment clean and how to foster peaceful co-existence between refugees and the host community. UNHCR and partners will use the forum to sensitize the participants on environmental issues, xenophobia, rights etc.

“Special Thank you to Star 105.9FM and Ghetto Radio 89.5FM for supporting the cleanup exercise by publicizing the event on air to mobilize the community” Zahara Ali Senior Community Services Associate.

The exercise was organized by UNHCR in partnership, with other organizations including Heshima Kenya, International Rescue Committee, Danish Refugee Council Kenya Programme, Kituo Cha Sheria, National Council of Churches of Kenya – NCCK, Xavier Project Refugee Consortium of Kenya, Jesuit Refugee Service, HIAS.

By Community Service Unit, UNHCR