The tide has turned for trash-filled Msasani beach.
For months, dozens of volunteers have been slowly chipping away at heaps of garbage — syringes, blood vials, tyres, you name it — and today (May 16) a landscaping project has begun to take shape.
On Saturday, 100 volunteers trimmed grass, removed dead shrubs and yes, cleaned up heaps of trash, collecting 45 very full bags in total.
They also recovered 30 syringes.
Msasani beach has the potential to be a beautifully landscaped public space that the community is proud of, says area resident Sarah Scott, noting that initially skeptical local leaders are supportive of the community’s initiative.
“The plan is to landscape the area,” says Scott, who has arranged for coconut trees to be planted and envisions an outdoor exercise area.
“This is our national heritage, we need to preserve it. It’s everyone’s responsibility to makes sure we don’t just throw garbage anywhere,” says Ibrahim Mwesiga Kyaruzi, picking up trash that’s washed ashore.
“At the moment, the beach is very unsafe and you can’t bring your family here,” says Kyaruzi.
The trash and hazardous materials lurking in the sand have made the beach an unappealing place, says Sabine Klaus, who uses the beach with her family regularly.
“With kids, that’s not something you want. You’ve just have to hold your nose and keep walking,” says Klaus.
“If the beach is clean, that’s perfect.”
Read more: Beach cleanup in the name of love