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Pollution Starts and Ends With A Clean Environment

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The world environment day was held on the 5th of June 2019. The day, which is observed in most parts of the world, seeks to reflect on interventions taken on matters environment. In 2019, the focus was on beating air pollution. In Kenya today, the levels of pollution continue to rise amidst increased industrialization, infrastructure development as well as growing activities in the construction sector. The National Environmental Management Agency (NEMA) has time and again been in the mainstream media advocating for observation of the requirements to ensure safe and clean environmental interventions.

Their stand is based on the challenges at the grassroots level where communities in areas with heavy industrial action including Baba Dogo, Syokimau, Athi River, Dandora and even Industrial Area have continued to complain about air pollution. In the case of Syokimau, there has been a great increase in habitation with many urban populations moving in the area that is within the precincts of the capital city. However, the area of residence is not all that rosy! Fumes of burning metal increase in the evening while in some areas the fumes from industrial and motor smoke are increased in the morning.

Globally, air pollution is a crisis that affects not only the environment but people’s health in addition to affecting global warming. Research in China, for example, found that children who grew up in polluted areas risk having reduced intelligence or developing symptoms of asthma. Already, there has been evidence of pregnant women in polluted areas losing their babies to miscarriages or having the babies prematurely as a result of long term exposure to air pollution. In other cases, the presence of low birth weight has been reported.

But how can we beat air pollution?

A suggestion from the World Health Organization indicates that this will be achieved through managing industries, transportation, waste and burning of fossil fuels. This requires both individual and corporate effort in line with WHO as well as MDG7 that has to do with natural resources base and ecosystems sustainability.

The latter will help to meet people’s food requirements and other environmental, social and economic needs. Climate change, increased water scarcity, and conflicts over access to resources all pose challenges to environmental sustainability and food security.

Bearing in mind the environmental pillar of the Optiven Foundation, this is what drove the team to reach out to the community in Ngatataek, Kajiado County on 5th June 2019. The team of over 20 staff joined the community to clean up the market area and rid it of the marauding dirt that was making it an eyesore.

The exercise provided an opportunity for partnership with the local community including scouts and girl guides from the Ngatataek Boarding School, the local administration, and the business community of Ngatataek area. At the end of the event, tonnes of garbage, mainly plastic and other waste were transported to a garbage dump and burnt symbolically to encourage the community to be self-aware of the need to protect the environment.

Speaking when he rolled out the cleaning exercise, Mr. George Wachiuri, the Chairman of the Optiven Foundation called on the community and specifically the business owners of Ngatataek to be involved individually to ensure that the area is rid of garbage and plastic in particular. Wachiuri singled out the status of Machakos County and urged the local administration to borrow a leaf and make Ngatataek a model green city in the near future. His sentiments were echoed by local leaders led by Mr. Daniel Kupai, the Senior Chief of Ngatataek who reminded the community that a clean environment will serve their families well and keep the environment clean.

Kupai was speaking shortly after welcoming the team from Optiven Foundation and the residents of Ngatataek to the cleanup exercise, during which he reminded them that air pollution is a result of improper waste management. He thanked the Optiven Foundation for accepting to donate garbage bins in the next three months that will help alleviate the behavior of open dumping.

Speaking at the same event, ODM Nominated Member of the County Assembly Grace Munei encouraged the community to teach their children cleanliness for a greener cleaner city in the future. The team was speaking at Ngatataek market shortly after hosting Mrs. Mary Wachuka – a trustee of the Optiven Foundation who donated sanitary towels to over 200 girls at Ngatataek Primary School.

She advised that supporting girls ensures that none stays at home because of having their periods – a key incentive to ensure education for all. Mrs. Wachuka further encouraged the pupils to focus on education in order to be competent in the corporate world and be transformers in their own society. She was accompanied by over 30 employees of Optiven Group who also participated in a tree planting exercise at the school grounds.

Mr. Wachiuri also took time to empower the boys at the schools during which time he reiterated that the youth at the grassroots level are lacking mentors to help them be better citizens. He donated footballs to the boys to enable them to use their energies and time appropriately while urging other corporate organizations to follow suit.

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Video: Optiven Dance Style Goes Viral

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Optiven Group had a great moment as the company staff danced for their customers & to God during the twin awards win during the Real Estate Excellence Awards Kenya last week.

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Mahiga Homes Awarded as Best Low Cost Low Rise Residential Developer During The Real Estate Excellence Awards

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The Leading Real Estate Developer, Mahiga homes Ltd, won two major coveted awards in The Real Estate Excellence Awards, namely;

1. Best in off plan Residential Sales
2. Best low cost low rise Residential Developer.

This comes in the wake of the firm being recognized internationally by being awarded The Leading Real Estate Brand 2019 by UK based ranking company Global Brand Awards.

This makes Mahiga homes Ltd the best company with the most Awards totaling to 7 since it started operations 2 years ago.
The previous awards are;
KPRA Awards
1. The Rockie of the Year 2018
2. Affordable Housing Initiative

Real Estate Excellence Awards 2018
1. Most Promising Residential Developer 2018
2. Best Low Cost Residential Developer 2018

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Optiven Foundation Feted For Transforming Lives Across Kenya

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Optiven Foundation has been feted for it’s role in transforming the society. This was at The Voice Awards held at the Louis Leakey auditorium in Parklands Nairobi on 16th August 2019. The event which was the first to be held in Kenya by it’s owners based in Netherlands, attracted a number of dignitaries and was officially addressed by the Deputy President Dr. William Ruto.

The award to Optiven Foundation was received by the Optiven Group General Manager, Mary Wacukah who is also a trustee of the Optiven Foundation. Speaking shortly after receiving the award Mrs. Wacukah “this award is a true reflection of what the foundation stands for which is to make a difference in the lives of the community.

” She commended all those who support the endeavors of the foundation which she noted has been a great input towards ensuring that the community we live in is a better place saying, “The Optiven Foundation is supported by Optiven Limited and well wishers who come together to ensure that our brothers and sisters live in dignity and their lives are transformed.

Truly when giving you do not just do it for the other person, but it also teaches us to be grateful for what we have.” While appreciated the trustees and philanthropists, she added that the foundation is wholly supported by Optiven Limited where 5% of all profits from real estate are used to cater for the myriad needs of the Optiven Foundation.

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Mrs. Wacuka was accompanied at the event by the Chairman of Optiven Foundation, Mr. George Wachiuri, Ms. Jerusha Abasalom – the Diaspora Manager, top associates of Optiven Limited and who are also philanthropists in their own right Mr. James Mugo and Mr. John Owiro and Ms. Joyce Njambi, the team leader for the Optiven Foundation among others.

Ambassador Pastor Elvis Iruh, the founder of The Voice Magazine in the Netherlands and who partners with Moving Minds Africa to bring the award to Kenya congratulated the team from Optiven Foundation saying their impact in society cannot be underestimated. Ambassador Iruh further noted that the team from Optiven had been receipient of another award which was bestowed to the Chairman Mr. George Wachiuri in 2019 at the Le Koning Hotel at the Hague in the Netherlands in 2018.

He added that both Mr. Wachiuri and the Optiven Foundation had been leaving print marks in the lives of people across the world with the work they are doing in transforming lives through philanthropy. He singled out the efforts to renovate and rehabilitate children living at the Soweto Children’s Home in Kayole where the Optiven Foundation has built classrooms and dormitories as well as provided the daily needs for the children who are fully dependent on the foundation.

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ABOVE: Partners visiting with the Optiven Foundation ahead of The Voice Awards ceremony at the Louis Leakey Auditorium on 16/8/2019

The Optiven Foundation works with the less fortunate in society in order to make their lives better.  Since it’s inception, the foundation has worked in the areas of environment, health and education among others. With key partnerships with different counties, the foundation has been involved with various cleanups including in Kajiado County and Nairobi County.

In adherence to the UN Millenium Development Goals, the Optiven Foundation has adapted environmentally friendly models on all it’s projects including use of biodigesters to save on water, afforestation to increase forest cover as well as participating in community projects that ensure sustainability. With regard to education, the Foundation launched the Soaring Eagles Program with the key mandate to provide opportunities for education for students who have challenges in paying for their education but are keen on performance.

Over the years, Optiven Foundation has given scholarships to students across the country and in every country. On matters health, the Optiven Foundation has provided support to communities through hosting medical camps, monetary support to cover health matters, civic education on the importance of insurance especially covering medical matters as well as community facilitation to persons living with disability. Through it’s Mobility that Brings Smiles campaign, Optiven Foundation has been able to partner with different associates to provide those living with disability with wheelchairs.

Through partnerships with individuals of good will, the foundation has since donated wheelchairs to deserving cases in Nairobi County, Nyeri County, Machakos County and Kiambu County. As the need for the said wheelchairs is immense the foundation is seeking partners to further spread the mobility that brings smiles through enabling persons living with disability to be able to be mobile.

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