CYNESA participated in the 2018 World Environment Day (WED) events in a number of locations across sub-Saharan Africa. In Kenya the WED celebrations were held at the Kwale Baraza Park in Kwale County, in the coast region of Kenya. The CYNESA team at the WED celebrations was led by Executive director Allen Ottaro, accompanied by Hellen Mugo from the secretariat and Celestine Otieno from CYNESA Kenya. The team also mobilized 15 youth from Tudor Parish, Mombasa Archdiocese to join them for the WED event.
World Environment Day (WED) is an annual event commemorated every June 5 since 1974 to create awareness and promote action for protection of the environment. The 2018 WED global host was India, with over 100 other countries observing the day.
The WED global theme for the year 2018 was “Beat Plastic Pollution”, with the slogan “Greening the Blue”. On WED 2018, governments, industry, communities as well as individuals were encouraged to come together and look at sustainable ways of urgently reducing the production and use of single-use plastic which has been polluting oceans, damaging marine life and threatening human health.
The Deputy President of Kenya, H.E. William Ruto, was the chief guest at the Kenyan WED event in Kwale. Reiterating the need for a clean environment, the deputy president directed the Ministry of Environment and Forestry to initiate monthly cleanup exercises in all counties in order to reduce pollution and improve the environment. He also encouraged all Kenyans to embrace alternative carrier bags following a government ban on plastics in 2017.
As part of the celebrations at the Kwale Baraza Park there were stands with exhibitionists showing various ways to beat plastic pollution in line with the day’s theme. The exhibitionists varied from students such as Technical University of Mombasa students showing creative ways of reusing plastic bottles around the house to government agencies like the National Environmental Management Authority of Kenya (NEMA) with IEC materials to teach the public on the hazard of plastic pollution.
The groups Mkwiro Eco-friendly Conservation Group, Fihoni Conservation Group and the Watamu Community Waste Management and Recycling Enterprises displayed different products made out of recycled plastics including roofing tiles, wall hangings and building blocks. The work of such groups not only helps to reduce plastic pollution but also provides employment to many people in the coastal area of Kenya.
With national WED celebrations happening at the Kenyan coast along the Indian Ocean, it is hoped that more efforts will go into ‘Greening the Blue’ of the Indian Ocean.
CYNESA Board Member.