Over a hundred Dar residents gave up their Saturday morning — Valentine’s Day, no less — to clean up Msasani Beach, of Dar’s few public beach-fronts.
Car tires, the front fender of a car, a small mountain of shoes and scores of used syringes were among the trash collected by the volunteers of all ages.
“I thought I’d take this beach on as a challenge,” says Sarah Scott, who recently moved to the neighbourhood.
“If you saw it a month ago, the trash was so bad,” says Scott, who says there was a lot of laughter and skepticism from local leaders when they heard the plan to clean up mavi ‘shit’ beach.
“It would be amazing to keep this space clean and to engage the community to keep it clean. One of my favourite Swahili phrases is tupo pamoja, we are together.”
That’s the principle of Nipe Fagio, meaning give me the broom, an organization urging all residents to do their part to clean up Dar, the 12th dirtiest city in the world.
“Only 39 percent of Dar’s trash reaches a legal dump site, the rest is what we see here on the beach and in the drains,” says Nipe Fagio community outreach coordinator Yusuph Masanja, who helped organize Saturday’s event.
“The challenge is to change people’s mindset that trash is the government’s problem. It’s our problem and everyone has to take action.”