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 organisation 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!’