By Immanuel Lokwei,

The Eldoret police have been too busy dealing with security matters to the extent that their environment had been left in a perilously garbage-infested state. But last Thursday, Rodca youths in Eldoret led a vibrant team of The Kenya Red Cross community and Winners Chapel volunteers, among other volunteers, to offset this imbalance. Now as one officer was overheard saying pointing at a grassy field in the police compound, “the place looks conducive for afternoon naps.”

Among those present during this cleanup campaign that commenced at Nandi Park, which is located almost at the center of this concrete jungle, include the chairman of Eldoret Green Town Initiative, Mr. Mohammed Ali. Mr. Ali commended the youths and reiterated that their positive gesture to the environment, though small in magnitude, would send major ripples even beyond the public domain. The aged compatriot reminisced aloud about the 1960s times when the Park was a beloved destination for photograph-enthusiasts and romance and what not. The youths, looking at the deplorable state of the Park couldn’t restrain their laughter.

After Nandi Park, this team of volunteers ferociously attacked Oloo Street, leaving no litter unpicked, and then took a left turn on Nairobi-Uganda road all the while escorted by Eldoret police officers, before finally making entrance at the police station. That is where most activity happened, implying that the place was like a sub-headquarter of all sorts of discarded matter. Nonetheless the youths were not deterred. For an approximate two hours, the youths hammered away diligently.

At the end of the campaign, the head of the Crime department who was representing the OCS had the opportunity to address the youths. Officer Japheth thanked the youth and advised them to keep off crime, alcohol and unprotected sex. He especially elaborated that the former two had a synergistic effect. Also in attendance was a representative from the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) who urged the youths to be more environment-conscious and pointed out that statistics show that 80 percent of diseases affecting people globally are environment related.

The Rodca youth chairman, Nelson Bett, had the opportunity to thank all sponsors without whom the campaign wouldn’t have materialized. They include The Kenya Red Cross Society, Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth Affairs and Social Services (Uasin Gishu County), NEMA, Eldoret Green Town Initiative, Winners Chapel Church (Eldoret) and Eldoret Police Station. He reminded the volunteers that the cleanup campaign would be monthly and next time it would be better organized and funded.

Besides creating awareness about issues affecting the environment and facilitating the cleanup campaign, the reason why the police station was selected was to establish good rapport between the police and the youths. Perhaps this objective was achieved. Eventually, completely drained bottles of sodas marked the end of the cleanup campaign. The town and the police station looked way better than before.

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