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Confusion as Sonko Rescue Team takes central role at City Hall

Confusion has rocked the Nairobi County environment department on who is responsible for the cleanness of the city between Sonko Rescue Team and the county cleaners.

The simmering crisis also involves contracted private garbage collectors, community based organization and the National Youth Service (NYS).

NYS has been involved in garbage collection in various parts of the city including slums and markets.

The confusion was evident on Wednesday along Jogoo Road when county cleaner’s arrived for their daily routine only to find the Sonko Rescue Team had cleared the place.

Mary Mumbua, a businesswoman said that youths donning Sonko Rescue Team, arrived in a lorry and within minutes, the place was neat, leaving county workers astonished.

This has also brought anxiety among the cleaners who fear they could lose jobs to the Sonko Rescue Team.

The team is assembled by Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko.


However, the manager of the Sonko Rescue Team Joab Ogolla allayed fears that the youths would take over the county staff’s job saying they were just complementing the clean up efforts.

“Let the county workers not feel threatened we are basically giving them enforcement as they are few and overwhelmed by the job,”said Mr Ogolla.

Mr Ogolla said that the youths are young and passionate about cleanliness “unlike the county staff who are unmotivated, some old and do the job in a sluggish manner”.

Mr Ogolla said that the county staff are conditioned to clean from 8am to 5pm while the youths want to do the job in a few hours and move to the next place.

He cited that the youths have been in existence since the governor was a senator and they have never had conflicts with the existing cleaning groups.

Mr Ogolla said that the Sonko Rescue Team does not have borders on where to clean and will clear garbage and undertake cleanness in all the parts of the city.


He added that the youths do not draw salaries from the county as it is a non-governmental organization.

Mr Sonko hired about 1,000 youths and disbursed 47 garbage trucks to work under the rescue team to collect garbage, clear drainage and unpin campaign posters in an exercise dubbed “Operation Ng’arisha Jiji”.

The youths have been undertaking the exercise in  Dagoretti North, Ruaraka, Makadara and Embakasi West constituencies.

The County Executive for Environment Eng Peter Kimori said that he was not aware of the conflict as he was in the process of clearing and handing over.

“I am not aware of the issue as you know we are in the exit mode and preparing to hand over one a new cabinet takes over,” said Eng Kimori.