Green Gang's Mama Ngina Clean-Up | Aga Khan Academies

Green Gang's Mama Ngina Clean-Up

24 January 2018

The Green Gang club has noticed that Mama Ngina drive is not as clean as it used to be. Shanice, who is the Vice-chair of the club, explains “I really feel bad when I see trash everywhere and most people still throw trash. I miss the old Mama Ngina where it used to be clean and green and no one would be seen throwing trash.” Therefore, Green Gang, as activists for the environment came up with a solution to reduce the land pollution.

On the 18th of November 2017, the Green Gang team accompanied by Everyday Africa as well as some year 7 and 8 students came together as an Aga Khan Academy community to participate in a cleanup along Mama Ngina drive and by the beach front. The aim of the clean up was to collect waste in order to keep the park and seafront cleaner. The participants were split into 5 groups, each having 3 bags to fill. The first bag was for plastic bottles, the second bag for polythene and the third bag for other waste such as paper. The cleanup is our first step to creating eco benches around the Mama Ngina Park. The plastic bottles collected will be used as recycled bricks, which will be transformed into eco- benches. The eco-benches will be a space for people to interact with others from different backgrounds and have gatherings and meetings. Moreover, we noticed that many people have nowhere to sit when visiting Mama Ngina drive. Furthermore, the rest of the garbage which we collected was properly disposed and collected by a garbage truck.


Personally, I was surprised by the amount of garbage that we found, especially the number of alcohol bottles. Most of the garbage was scattered everywhere and there were small piles of waste under trees and bushes. I also didn’t see a single dustbin, which explains why it is so hard for people to dispose of their waste properly. I was also shocked by the amount of waste that was on the beach near the ferry. This was almost more than what we saw at the park. The beach was filled with plastic bottles, old clothes, sacks and polythene bags. At the end of the cleanup we were able to collect 6 bags of this garbage.

The aim of the clean up was not only to collect garbage, but also to interact with the people around and explain to them that littering is bad. Many people stopped by to look at what we were doing. This showed that people were aware that we were helping the environment and that they now know that littering takes a negative toll on the environment. Many people think that the government is responsible for the amount of litter in Mombasa, but it is the people who cause this litter. By going out and collecting the garbage, we made a statement that we are responsible for our own actions and the un-cleanliness of our town.  We also interacted with street vendors around, explaining to them that they should always dispose the packaging of their products properly. While some took the message strongly, for others it did not seem to bother them; the same feeling of ‘it is someone else’s responsibility’.


One of the group members explained that this experience allowed her to play her role as a leader both in the club and in our outside community. Ashley said, “I exercised my leadership in the club by taking the responsibility of making sure that each group had the materials required to clean up. However, my main role as leader was to educate the community around me on how to take care of our environment and how we can recycle waste into useful materials.”

The clean-up exercise was a collaboration between AKA Mombasa’s Green Gang club and Khangadelic; a Mombasa based fashion house.  During the cleanup we were also joined by Kenya Ferry Services officers,  a representative of the Mombasa County Government-department of Education and Environment, and members of Swahili pot; a local NGO.  They were all willing to work with us to create future projects that will create sustainable solutions so as  to keep Mama Ngina drive and the beach front clean. The idea of making eco-friendly benches from waste bottles is a project they are interested in. Green Gang is happy to interact more with other stakeholders to deepen understanding of environmental issues in Mombasa. The plans to make the eco-benches are underway and will likely happen before the end of the academic year, in June 2018. 


Written by Anoush Alibhai