Our test of patriotism is in our good actions for our country
Betterman Simidi M., Founder, Patron & Spokesperson, Former CEO
MESSAGE FROM THE FOUNDER - 2020
In 2015, after becoming exceedingly sick and tired of seeing all the waste and uncollected garbage in our neighbourhoods, waterways and the streets, I finally decided to take a career sabbatical to establish Clean Up Kenya.
I had been musing over the idea for a couple of years now. Especially since I had in recent years been involved as part of my consultancy work in helping communities across East Africa to organize service projects, some of which were cleanups.
When Clean Up Kenya was established, the initial focus was to document the state of public sanitation in the country and make the content widely available online to increase visibility on issues, leading to appropriate interventions from duty bodies and other stakeholders.
Today, what started as a career sabbatical has become my lifetime commitment, and Clean Up Kenya has grown into a national public sanitation advocacy brand.
The scope of our work has also gradually expanded to include issues such as gaps in public sanitation regulatory frameworks, inadequate investment in waste management infrastructure for both solid and liquid waste, improper management of commissioned dumpsites, the role of the private sector in solutions building, issues of Extended Producer Responsibility particularly for some fractions of plastics, among others.
We have also implemented many projects across Kenya and inspired many more positive actions. Some of our projects have involved children, whom we continue to mentor through partners such as Debbie Oyugi Kids, among others.
Clean Up Kenya has not only grown but also fundamentally changed me. My concern for community has evolved and I’m now passionate about issues of sanitation rights for the urban poor.
We have also had an opportunity to work with hundreds of organisations and thousands of volunteers. Even though some organisations and individuals have supported some of our projects, Clean Up Kenya has continued to run on personal funds.
As we look for more positive years ahead, we hope we will be able to attract strategic partnerships to continue pursuing our objectives. As Kenya’s famous daughter and environmentalist, 2004 Nobel Prize winner, Wangari Maathai, observed in the book Unbowed: ‘Many people have wonderful ideas, but if they don’t get seed capital to develop them, they can never germinate.’
I welcome you all to be part of the Clean Up Kenya Project.
Betterman Simidi M., Founder, Patron & Spokesperson, Former CEO | 2020