There was pomp and colour during the celebrations of National World Environment Day 2017 at Egerton University, Njoro Campus, Nakuru County on 5th June, 2017.

 This year’s event was guided by the theme, “Connecting People to Nature” and the slogan “I am the Nature.

The slogan reminds us of the responsibility that we have towards the environment. We should at all times be in tune with our surroundings. We should never compromise on nature and our environment.

The World Environment Day is the biggest annual event for positive action that takes place every 5th of June since it began in 1972. The global citizens have continued to organize many thousands of events to mark the day and to create awareness and educate the public on the importance of the Environment. Some activities organized to mark the day at Egerton were Mr. and Miss Environment competition, Clean ups, tree planting, exhibitions, panel discussion and a road show among other activities.

The event was preceded by buildup events on 2nd June, 2017 which entailed a panel discussion which was held at Kilimo Hall at Egerton University, Njoro Campus.
The topic of discussion was Waste Management in Kenya with a special focus on the Ban on Plastic bags. The participants had a good time interacting
and educating the participants on the effects of plastics to the environment.

 

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Environment and Natural Resources CS, Judi Wakhungu addressing the public duirng WED celebrations

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NEMA Director General Prof Geoffrey Wahungu addressing the public during the WEd 2017 panel discussion

 

Mr and Miss Environment Nakuru Crowned
The winners for this year were Miss Emma Hosea, and Mr. Kelvin Mbugua. 1st runners up was Rose Sakhasia, and 2nd runners up was Angeline Wairimu Gitonga in the Ladies category. For men category, Mr. Kennedy Ngare emerged the 1st runners up and Nickson Ong’era, 2nd Runners up..

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The winners Miss Environment Nakuru, Emma Hosea (in blue dress) and Mr. Environment Nakuru, Kelvin Mbugua after being crowned during the WED 2017 celebrations.

The launch of the bags is in line with Safaricom’s commitment to contribute to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 12, which calls for responsible Consumption and Production. 

Safaricom has commenced use of eco-friendly carrier bags to replace plastic bags in their retail shops. The move is to reaffirm their commitment in taking responsibility to manage environmental impact seriously, said Steve Okeyo, the Director – Regional Sales and Operations.
The chief guest was the Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, Prof. Judi Wakhungu. Delivering her speech, the CS said that plastic ban is a deliberate effort to rid our beautiful country of the menace of plastic wastes that have continued to choke our drainage systems, kill livestock, degrade infrastructure amongst other negative impacts. She called upon all people of good will to support this great initiative so that we all live in a clean, safe and healthy environment. While making his remarks, the NEMA Board Chairman, Mr. John Konchella, urged the County Governments to cooperate with NEMA to build synergies among stakeholders in the management of the environment. He encouraged them to implement and prioritize programs and projects that contribute towards sustainable use of the environment.

He urged all to join hands and stay committed in ensuring that we impart knowledge, skills and a positive attitude in each and every citizen on matters that relate to the environment, as well as on the importance of protecting our resources for the current and the future generations.
The NEMA Director General Prof. Wahungu thanked all the stakeholders that participated in this year’s World Environment Day. He also noted that the event was unique as it was used to profile and showcase existing best practices on how we can give back to nature through embracing green initiatives including tree planting, recycling of solid waste among other technologies which we ought to embrace as they had been profiled.
He said he was happy to note that there were many opportunities that could be recognized as a result of proper management of the environment that included green jobs for youths and reduced public health related diseases among others.
The DG reiterated that the ban on plastic bags is there to stay and that the Authority will ensure it is fully implemented. He described the plastic bags as being a disaster and nightmare and that are partly responsible for the death of domestic, sea and wild animals.
He called on all Kenyans to change their way of waste disposal and added that even if the County Governments can be allocated more funds towards the waste management without the citizens having behavior change on waste disposal, then it will be of no help.
WED 2017 celebrations took place in all the 47 Counties led by the NEMA County Officers. This helped to cascade the message to the local ‘mwananchi’ that everyone should join hands and support the ban. “Raising awareness on the most pressing environmental issues of our time is more important than ever.”

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Visitors at the NEMA booth during WED 2017 celebrations

 

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