A small motor engine rumbles in a police station in Nairobi.
Sprayer in hand and disinfectant solution in a motorized container on his back, Robert Okubo is working hard to help curb the spread of COVID-19.
Police officers and members of the public go about their business as Okubo works, only stopping to avoid the mist from his spray’s nozzle.
Robert and his team of 30 will sterilize in and outside the station, which include its offices, hallways and toilets.
“I thought it was important for me to check up on them and see if they were getting any services, if not I offer for them and apparently they are not getting it as frequent and I thought it important to at least volunteer and help out where I could,” said Okubo, who has been sanitizing police stations for little over three weeks now for free.
Okubo came back to Kenya in 2003 to set up a cleaning company, after a successful stint in the same industry in the United States.
The 51-year-old says he wishes he and team of volunteers could do more, because the anti-viral and disinfectant spray they use is not costly, but they lack additional resources and equipment.
His recently injured his arm.
“I did not realize there was mud on the ground. Because sometimes when you are spraying a building, you want to try and walk away from the treatment, and I ended up slipping and falling with the machine. That is how I ended up fracturing it,” said Okubo.
Okubo plans to regularly disinfect Nairobi’s more than 40 police stations. So far, his team has covered four of the capital’s busiest police stations.
“We urge other Kenyans to follow Robert’s footsteps, so that they can assist our officers. You know our officers are always in the frontline, in dealing with this epidemic issue of corona (new coronavirus). So if people can come out and assist us in fumigation of the offices and in fumigation of vehicles,” said Mark Wanjalla, the officer in charge at Nairobi’s central police station.
While Kenya recorded 66 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday (May 20), the highest reported in a single day since the pandemic hit the East African nation, no infections have been reported among the police force or in the stations.
Kenya has confirmed 1109 COVID-19 cases so far.