(Kenya) Kenyans turned up in the hundreds to clean up beaches and coastal environments along the Kenya coast in commemoration of the International Coastal Cleanup Day held on the 19th September, 2015. Dubbed one of the largest volunteer events in the world, having operated for nearly 30 years in raising efforts to clean up the coastal environments. The International Coastal Cleanup day is dedicated to the improvement of beaches, coastal regions and surrounding areas throughout the world.
Volunteers including CORDIO Staff members participated in picking up an approximate of 2 tons (2146 kgs.) of trash on this day. This annual event organized at the Jomo Kenyatta Public Beach, Mombasa by the National Environment Management Authority under the theme: “Our place…. Our Planet …. Our Responsibility – Keep Kenya Clean” attracted participation from various participants ranging from school going children’s (primary, secondary, college, universities), NGOs, Civil Society to the County Government of Mombasa (CEC, Members of Parliaments and Ward representatives). The Area Member of Parliament in his opening address called for a sustainable solution to solid waste management in Kenya, highlighting that we all (stakeholders) have a responsibility to safeguard coastal and marine environments.
This event came at an opportune time when calls for preparedness against El nino events are occupying the various media outlets. Collected trash from the exercise indicated that most debris on beaches and shorelines was made up of “single use” disposable plastic including wrappers, flip-flops, bags and biodegradables that originate on land and travel through storm water, creeks and rivers to the
Plastic and other trash harms marine habitats and wildlife immensely causing fatality through entanglement and ingestion. Various organizations held exhibitions ranging from solutions to stormwater management, energy saving charcoal among others.
Other side events were being held in other counties (Kilifi, Lamu and Kwale) on the Kenya coast.
“Now there is an easier way to collect data for International Coastal Cleanup; Ocean Conservancy developed a new app – Clean Swell – that allows you to quickly and easily track each trash as you collect it ” – Ocean Conservancy
CORDIO is committed to the protection and sustainable management of the marine environments for both present and future generations. Participations at the global Coastal Cleanup Day was part of an effort to raise public awareness of marine and coastal resources and promote coastal and marine stewardship.