Kenya: The Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Forestry, Soipan Tuya, has led the country in marking the World Environment Day in Nakuru County with an appeal for Kenyans to end plastic pollution, which is choking the environment and especially water bodies.
The national event, which was held in Lake Nakuru National Park under the theme ‘Solutions to Plastic Pollution‘ and hosted by the County Government of Nakuru, brought together stakeholders in the environment sector to highlight the menace of plastic pollution and the interventions the government has put in place to manage it.
Speaking during the event, the CS said that there was a need to end all types of environmental pollution and especially plastic pollution. She said that only 10% of plastics are recycled, while 23 million tonnes find their way to water bodies.
She added that the world was now grappling with the problem of macro plastics whose traces are being found in humans, animals and plants, including food crops. She added that there was a need for the country to adopt a circular economy where plastics are recycled and reused to prevent environmental pollution.
The Governor of Nakuru, Susan Kihika, thanked the Ministry for holding the global event in Nakuru and noted that the County was implementing an integrated programme to combat plastic pollution and the conservation of Lake Nakuru.
Others present during the event were the Principal Secretaries for Environment and Forestry, Eng. Festus Ng’eno and Gitonga Mugambi, NEMA Chairman Emilio Mugo, the Parliamentary Committee On Environment and Forestry Charles Kamuren, the KFS Board Vice Chairman Zakayo Maina, who was representing the Chairman Job Chirchir and the Principal Deputy Chief Conservator of Forests Peter Waweru among others.
Moreover, Kenya Forest Service joined the Kajiado County Govt, NEMA & students from PCEA Enchoro Emuny Primary School in Ngong Town in a tree planting exercise at the school to mark World Environment Day.
The activity was aimed at creating awareness of the importance of tree-growing among the learners & the steps KFS is taking to implement the ban on single-use plastics in protected areas, which aligns with this year’s theme for the celebrations, “solution to plastic pollution.”
KFS has developed a set of guidelines following the directive that defines single-use plastics, which include -: disposable plastic water bottles, disposable cutlery, non–woven plastic carrier bags, confectionery and snack wrappers, disposable sanitary items, wet wipes and single-use toiletries packaged in plastics among others.
The guidelines promote the use of alternatives such as wooden and metallic containers, reusable plastic/glass bottles, reusable carrier bags & other eco-friendly materials.