NEMA’s Director Environmental education, information & public participation Dr. Ayub Macharia flagging off a procession
[PHOTO: ANTONY MWANGI/NEMA]
The National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) led partners and stakeholders during the Coastal Cleanup exercise on Saturday 19th September, 2015 at Jomo Kenyatta Public Beach in Mombasa.
The Cleanup the World Day is one of the Global environmental events marked on the third Saturday of September each year guided by a theme formulated by UNEP.
The theme for this year’s event is, “Our Place, Our Planet, Our Responsibility.” The event serves to raise public awareness on the importance of hygiene and sanitation aimed at improving the quality of the environment thus preventing adverse effects to human health.
The event started with a procession from Nakumatt Nyali to Jomo Kenyatta Public Beach where the cleaning exercise began. Attendants led by NEMA, China Wu Yi, Kenya Wildlife Service and Mombasa County government among others collected the litter along the beach starting from the main entrance to the beach. At the end of the exercise, a total of 1249 kilograms of solid waste was collected.
This year’s Cleanup the World Event was marked across the country riding on the national slogan, Keep Kenya Klean (3K) as a rallying call for environmental action for the Kenyan people. The day provided a platform for the Authority to reach out to the public and educate Kenyans on the need of working together towards enhancing the quality of our environment.
Mombasa County Executive Committee Member for Water, Environment & Natural Resources, Ms. Fatma Awale was categorical that waste management should be dealt with at all levels to reduce pollution of the ocean.
She also warned hoteliers adjacent to the beaches to stop releasing sewerage to the ocean as it was a major factor responsible for the pollution. She called on all stakeholders from the County and National government to work together to ensure the ocean beaches remain clean.
While addressing the public during the event, Nyali MP, Mr. Hezron Awiti challenged stakeholders present to work towards ensuring the beaches remain clean. He urged the agencies present to work together to enhance environmental protection more specifically beaches. NEMA’s Director for Environmental Education, Information and Public Participation delivered the speech of the Director General NEMA. The DG praised the efforts by the Mombasa County government that has been geared towards environmental protection.
“The County provides a major boost to our country’s economy through revenue generation as it is a major holiday destination site and hosts numerous local and international tourists by providing world class hotels among other services”, Dr. Macharia stated.
As a result, this has led to continued and increased pollution levels and waste management challenges which if not adequately addressed may lead to major negative effects on our environment.”, the DG stated.On the other hand, Dr. Macharia stated that cleaning is every one’s responsibility. Hence, it is the responsibility of every individual to see that the beaches remain clean.
“A cleaner world ensures that all who live in it are healthy, this is ensured through eradicating waste and trash littered all around us.”. Dr. Macharia added. Mombasa County is endowed with beautiful beaches, scenery and various archeological sites such as Fort Jesus, Gedi Ruins. Such attractions help draw in huge numbers of tourists to the Kenyan Coast to come and sample the Costal way of life and such marvels.
The arrival of more and more tourists to the country has led to an unprecedented construction of hotels and other facilities that cater to tourists coming into the country in Kenya and especially at the Coast. Compounded with an ever increasing population, this has led to the production of more and more waste into such town which has created a waste disposal problem for the local governments.
Kenyan coastal beaches have in the past been highly rated, with south coast beaches voted the best in the world. But this has been undermined by filth, especially the ones in the North Coast.