Mtaa Safi (Clean Neighborhood)


Spatial Collective in its aim to understand various ways groups organize themselves for the purpose of providing public goods in informal settlements initiated Mtaa Safi (Clean Neighborhood) campaign.

It’s widely known that in informal settlements, lack of basic services and missing state institutions sometimes create a governance vacuum that is often filled by the informal sector. According to some estimations, informal sector in Nairobi employs two thirds of the city’s labor force as cleaners, sellers, teachers, security guards, waste collectors, etc.[1] This is a complicated system through which many of the services are provided. In our focus to understand the complexity of informal waste management in Eastlands, Spatial Collective initiated Mtaa Safi (Clean Neighborhood) campaign.

Mtaa Safi is first and foremost an environmental campaign. Its aim is to address the issues of waste management and at the same time raise awareness, capacity, and legitimacy of various initiatives dealing with environmental issues in informal settlements. Specifically, our aims is to build a network of community environmentalists and provide them with a platform to exchange information about best practices; further, we seek to improve environmental management through innovative use of available technology; and finally, we strive to legitimize the contribution of these groups towards the more sustainable development of Nairobi. In recent months Spatial Collective conducted a public opinion survey; organized a series of stakeholder meetings and target group interviews; collected information on hundreds of environmentally relevant locations; and set up a social media campaign in order to support and promote our on-the-ground activities. Our final goal is to build an open and widely accessible environmentally oriented communication channel for the purpose of providing relevant and timely information to the communities concerning environmental issues, and at the same time, allow citizens to participate and contribute their ideas and views on how to build a more sustainable and cleaner environment for the future generations.

Join the conversation herehere, or here.

[1] Nairobi Urban Sector Profi le, 2005, page 14,