This past Sunday, the “blue army” (tee-shirt clad Sanergy staff and youth group members) descended upon the Viwandani settlement for a Sanergy-sponsored community clean-up in honor of World Environment Day (June 5). This also presented an opportunity for us to further circulate the Fresh Life brand to potential consumers in the Viwandani settlement and generate sales leads for the purchase of new toilets.
On arrival, everyone was divided into two groups, one group was to do garbage pick-ups from households in the area and the other was to do a thorough clean-up of clogged up trenches in the area. The garbage collection group entailed going to various households in the area and collecting their garbage at no cost (Sanergy had previously covered the Ksh 20/= fee that the households would otherwise pay to the youth group). The garbage was collected and taken to a storehouse that the youth had built just south of the community, where city council picks it up from the funds the youth group raised through collection fees each month. It was truly inspiring to see how the youth of Viwandani were genuinely taking ownership of improving their community. They worked hard during the clean-up and shared with us their ongoing clean-up initiatives in the area.
The other activity entailed cleaning up some of the trenches in the community that had clogged due to an accumulation of trash thrown into them over time. We used shovels to pick out the litter from the trenches that ranged from flying toilets to household waste. Before the clean-up, water in the trenches was stagnant and it was pleasing to see that after the clean-up water in the trenches was flowing steadily.
As the clean-up activity wound down, the “blue army” congregated around Lydia Wairimu’s toilet that was opened May 22nd, barely over a month ago. Here, the Sanergy staff and the youth group got a chance to interact with the local people whilst telling them more about the Sanergy brand. This served the role of not only marketing Lydia’s toilet to the people in the area, but also market Fresh Life toilets more broadly to the people of Viwandani, which is a newer market for Sanergy. In fact, as a result of the clean-up, Sanergy received three new leads of people interested in opening Fresh Life toilets in Viwandani!