Mombasa is one of the counties struggling with garbage collection, particularly within the city.

While garbage was probably the main reason Nairobi residents effected a change at City Hall in the just concluded election, it was different in Mombasa. Governor Hassan Joho won overwhelmingly, despite a general consensus that he had under-performed in this sector.

But now that the elections are over, people have resumed putting pressure to ensure Joho and other governors are continuously on their toes.

One of these people is Boniface Mwangi, who visited Mombasa and was not impressed with what he saw.

In a long Facebook post, Boniface told Joho to dedicate as much effort in cleaning the environment, as he does to maintaining his beard.

Read the full post below.

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Mombasa is a city that I have loved over the years. I was actually born in the coast province and lived there until l was 4 years old. I have been going there almost every year since I was 11 years old. Mombasa is laid back, the people as warm as the weather. Oh, and the food, in this part of the country, is just amazing. I spent a few days in Mombasa this past week with my family. I feel safer there than anywhere else in Kenya. You can safely walk in most parts of Mombasa, day or night.

Over the years l have seen Mombasa grow and expand. As we were walking around Mombasa, my daughter asked me, “Is Joho a rich man?” When l asked her why, she replied, “his photos are everywhere”.

If you haven’t been in Mombasa lately, there are images of Governor Joho everywhere. There are billboards of him every few metres, just like the piles of overflowing garbage. If Joho could put as much effort in cleaning Mombasa as he has put in his personal visibility, Mombasa would be a whole lot cleaner. If Joho put as much effort in cleaning Mombasa as he has put in maintaining that famous beard of his, I bet it would be the cleanest city in the country. Mombasa could use a “Joho beard treatment”, washed and cleaned everyday.

I visited the famous Pirates beach, the most visited public beach in Mombasa. The road leading to it is great. It is paved with cabro and well lit at night, but the entire place looks like a slum. The traders doing business have set up polythene covered stalls. There are no clean toilets, or even running water. A Joho-led county government should construct proper standard stalls for the traders and lease them out for a small fee, ensure daily garbage collection at that beach and provide CLEAN, FREE toilets for the public. A few of the traders leasing out floaters should be employed as life guards there as well. There should be “clean-up guards”, people who ensure that the beach users clean up after themselves.

Most Mombasa people have no memory of a cleaner Mombasa, that’s why they throw garbage anywhere and everywhere. Mombasa and Kenya as a whole needs to create a clean-up culture, weekly community clean-ups should be organized at ward level. Apart from garbage collection, Governor Joho should repair and build pedestrian footpaths, which are almost non-existent, in the entire city of Mombasa. Mombasa is a small, beautiful, friendly city choking with garbage, and unpainted buildings.

As Joho starts his final term as Governor, I hope he will do right by the people of Mombasa and focus on leaving it clean, with reliable water supply and pedestrian walks. Making Mombasa city clean and walkable should be as easy as maintaining his beard. No one spits in a clean house. Once Mombasa is cleaned, the residents and visitors will be proud and will fight to keep it that way. Let’s clean up Mombasa, Joho.