From garbage to back garden, Nairobi resident can help dumping ground bloom

NAIROBI, Aug 27 (Reuters) – A decade ago, a patch of land in Nairobi’s Dandora district was a dumping floor for the trash of the city’s wealthier inhabitants with scarcely a plant to be noticed.

Now, kids participate in on the grass and locals take it easy among avocado trees as birds sing in the branches previously mentioned. The lush group garden has even turn out to be the backdrop for rappers and other creatives to shoot their videos.

This transformation is thanks to Charles Gachanga, 45, who grew up in the neighbourhood again when it reeked of rubbish.

“We came and cleaned … We did not even have a penny,” reported Gachanga, who begun operating in 2013 on the backyard house, identified as Mustard Seed, with a few mates.

“We just had that concentrate, we had that passion to see how we could change our neighbourhood.”

Their challenge has influenced a community of comparable group-built inexperienced spaces, 20 by yourself in Dandora, he claimed. Maintenance fees are coated by neighborhood contributions and donations from international foundations these types of as the Amazing Foundation.

Men accumulate avocados from a tree in a community backyard garden, in the Dandora suburb of Nairobi, Kenya, August 6, 2021. Photograph taken August 6, 2021. REUTERS/Baz Ratner

Citizens residing in the vicinity of Gachanga’s inexperienced house pay back 100 shillings a thirty day period, fewer than $1, for maintenance. People today devoid of the funds typically volunteer, planting trees or cleansing, Gachanga claimed.

“It can make us come to feel like nature is nonetheless alive,” explained Javan Ofula, a poet who lives in Dandora and uses the gardens.

For other creatives, like producer James Macharia, the area is fantastic for company as nicely as the soul. “I have so a lot of clients that want to shoot with me a lot more since I have obtain to this area,” stated Macharia, who has built 50 songs films there.

As nicely as making the most of the fruit of the avocado harvest, some youngsters have started taking birdwatching lessons as birds flock to the returned greenery, claimed Evans Otieno, Gachanga’s deputy.

Otieno gave up a life of crime following his pals were being killed by a justice-trying to find mob. He hopes his path performing in the gardens will assist inspire other youthful individuals.

“The subsequent technology … is growing in a beneficial way understanding that individuals deserve to stay in a clear and green spot.”

(This tale refiles to modify headline)

Reporting by Ayenat Mersie
Enhancing by Maggie Fick and Alison Williams

Our Specifications: The Thomson Reuters Believe in Ideas.