Clean Up Kenya takes public sanitation message to Maasai Land!

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There was an air of defiance as 2017 Clean Up Kenya Bisil Day took place. Volunteers had started gathering at 7:30 am in front of the only major bank in town. John Sayo Paita, the chairman of the Maa Community Health Workers was seen with a mega phone going around warning shop owners to close down for the clean up.

By 8:30 am a huge crowd was beginning to form with several schools sending volunteers. Ilbisil Academy children were the first to arrive. Some of them sat on the pavement of the bank in an act of sheer defiance. It was however Ilbisil Township Primary School that grabbed attention when they arrived in a procession of defiance with a banner calling for the realization of Sustainable Development Goals on behalf of African children, blocking the busy Namanga road for a moment.

The cleanup began few minutes to ten after the county government had received four segregated dustbins from an organization called Good Neighbors and over ten dust drums from other well wishers. This was the first time such bins were being installed in this town!

In the end, the 1000 trash bags proved too few for the volunteers who participated in this exercise. Still more will need to be done to get the town off litter.

The children who participated in the football tournament after the cleanup were also defiant. Never in any of the projects we have done, has the football competition been so fierce and lively like in Bisil. Ilbisil Township Primary School took the trophy after beating Ilbisil Academy on penalties, and like they arrived, after winning the trophy, the children from this school made a procession of defiance in the town carrying twigs and the trophy shouting the slogan, ‘My Litter, My Responsibility’.

Clean Up Kenya Founder and CEO, Betterman Simidi, before handing over the 2017 Clean Up Kenya Bisil Day trophy, observed at the closing ceremony that the project had been successful. He stated, ‘we did not come to Bisil to clean up. We came here to pass a message to national and county governments, Kenyans and all businesses and institutions that we must all rise up to make Kenya clean.’

He added, ‘Never never doubt! We will take our message to every corner of this country!’


Clean Up Kenya was established in 2015 to advocate for and promote sustainable public sanitation in Kenya. Since then we have become the de-facto national public sanitation advocacy brand. We are also experts in community mobilizing for cleanups. We have done numerous cleanups over the years, some of which have been attended by over 1000 volunteers on singular sites. These cleanups are meant to increase visibility on the problem of waste and it is therefore common to see our volunteers in bibs with one message, ‘Clean Up Kenya’. At the core of our work is honest and actual engagement in communities – not PR events. We also run advocacy campaigns holding duty bodies, consumer brands, green-washing NGOs, and other stakeholders to account for unsustainable public sanitation in Kenya and the global South. We receive no funding for our work but collaborate with others on projects.