Clean Up Kenya was founded in July 2015 to advocate and promote sustainable public sanitation in Kenya. When the project started, the focus was on problems such as waste management, especially in areas with poor infrastructure, where there are often many huge, illegal landfills. The scope of the work has gradually expanded to include issues such as gaps in the legal framework for public sanitation, underinvestment in waste management infrastructure, pollution education and the removal of waste in nature.
In recent years, several campaigns have been conducted on the above-mentioned issues, which have already reached over ten million people and have brought about many positive changes in the country.
In April 2019, #CleanUpKenyaCoalition, the first national coalition against environmental pollution in Kenya, was established. Three months after its launch, the coalition had recruited over 2,500 members, including students, individuals, public leaders and several organizations, including Nairobi-based Strathmore University.
The long-term plan is to provide sanitation services and advice on sustainability to government, the private sector and the public, and to expand the work throughout Africa. In 2018, for example, Clean Up Kenya helped found Litter Free Ghana and Clean Up Uganda.
Clean Up Kenya is led by its founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Betterman Simidi with the help of Country Director Martin Muriithi and supported by an advisory board. Since 2016, technical advice has been added by various technocrats, including Dr. Yolanda Coombes, a former World Bank sanitation specialist.
In 2016 Clean Up Kenya started the project "Kenya Children for Environmental Change. This behavioral change and mentoring project is aimed primarily at children under the age of thirteen and provides education on environmental change. It covers how environmental pollution is created, what can be done about it and how to take preventive action to prevent pollution.
In most cases, participants take part in safe clean-up activities, sometimes even visiting landfills or contaminated water sources for prevention, where the children learn about the impact of waste on the environment, livelihoods and the economy.
The goal is to teach the children how to deal with waste in a sustainable way and to raise awareness of how everyone can make a contribution against the pollution of nature.