The clean-up event, which was organised by Raleigh Tanzania in partnership with Nipe Fagio, was part of a larger campaign called Let’s Do it! that saw more than 158 countries and 15 million people around the world stand up against the global trash problem on a single day. In Tanzania, clean-ups were organised in more than 45 locations.
The event at Kilakala river on Saturday received a huge amount of support from the local district, ward and municipal offices, and many members joined in with picking up rubbish from the river and river bank, including the representative from the District Commissioner’s Office, the Ward Councillor, Ward Executive Officer, and Municipal Environmental Officer.
In addition, various local organisations including Jane Goodall’s Roots and Shoots, NMB Bank, Tengeneza Generation and Kilakala secondary school all helped with the cleaning effort.
The 15th September also marked the first day of training for Raleigh Tanzania Volunteer Managers and ICS Team Leaders, which presented a great opportunity for them to get stuck in and interact with the local community as a part of their induction. Participants of Raleigh’s new ExCEL programme also took part along with Raleigh Tanzania Alumni and staff members.
The 700+ kilograms of rubbish that was collected was separated into around 124 bags containing plastic bags, plastic bottles, clothes, glasses and boxes. Kilakala Executive Officer, Yusuph Ahmed, said that this helped to educate the locals on how to better manage their waste: ‘The clean-up has been important for people to understand how to dispose of items – for example putting items into separate bags that can then be taken away for recycling,’ he commented.
Sorting the rubbish also allowed the most common brands to be identified, which were Metl, Konyagi, Mega Trade (K Vant), Azam and TBL (Castle). This data will help enable the local authorities and environmental groups plan for future preventative measures.
The clean-up day was not only important for cleaning the river and river bank, but inspiring change within the local community.
Jamila Chaffu, a student from Kilakala secondary school, said that the event will go a long way to encourage more regular cleaning in the community.
‘The people in this area normally do local clean-ups, but today many people have turned up to help, including those from external organisations, so it has been done on a greater scale and it is very inspiring for the local community to see this,’ she said.
Ahmed added that it has made the locals aware of the importance of cleaning the river in addition to their immediate environments, which is not done very frequently at present. This is critical for the community’s health and livelihoods, noted Ahmed, as Kilakala river connects to the much larger Ruvu river, which is used by many people for drinking and for other purposes.
‘This is a continuous effort for us. We will be encouraging local people to do this every Saturday and will raise awareness about this to the whole community,’ Ahmed said.
To build momentum for World Clean Up Day on 15 September, Raleigh Tanzania organised two events in the lead up to mobilise the community to tackle waste within their local areas and beyond.
On 11 August, a trash-collecting day was organised in Sabasaba garden and Kikundi river. Twenty -two participants, including the Ward Councillor, Ward Executive Officer, Municipal Environmental Officer, in addition to Raleigh Tanzania alumni and staff, collected around 360kg of rubbish.
The waste mostly consisted of plastic bags, plastic bottles, car parts, glass and boxes, with Metl, Azam and Konyagi as notable brands.
The second event took place at Chamwino market on 25 August, which involved 107 community members and officials, including the Ward Councillor, Ward Executive Officer, Municipal Environmental Officer, along with Raleigh Tanzania alumni and staff and ExCEL participants.
More than 74 bags were filled, equating to 508kg of waste made up of plastic bags, plastic bottles, clothes, glasses and boxes, with Metl, Azam, Coca Cola, Unilever and Konyagi as the most common brands.
Both events received significant support from local members, businesses and officials, who were ready to make a lasting impact on waste in their local communities.
Words by Jess Rowbury and Maria Kwirine
Photos by Thalia Aboutaleb