Volunteers clean Vanga to Lamu beaches to mark International Coastal clean-up day

Some of the participants who took part in the beaches clean-up exercise (Photo: Maarufu Mohamed)
At least 9000 volunteers participated in the clean-up exercise of sections of Kenyan Coastal shoreline from Vanga to Lamu as part of the observance of International Coastal Cleanup (ICC) Day 2019 that was marked on September 21.

“We are seeing more volunteers mostly organised school parties, corporate firms, individuals and hotels, Environmental NGOs and CBOs now taking part in the clean-up. Many have realized how important it is to take care of our natural resources hence the increase in both number of volunteers and trash collected,'' Mr David Olendo, Country Clean-up coordinator and director Kenya Aquatic Resources said.

Olendo who spoke on the sidelines of a cocktail party hosted for volunteers by the Pride Inn Paradise Beach Resort Convention Centre and Spa said that the exercise was conducted simultaneously within the Kenyan Coast .

'' Last year, we managed to collect 24 tonnes of trash along our coastline. Of great and significance importance is the fact that after anayltical process coming immediately after Kenya effected ban on use of plastics in 2017, we saw a 10 per cent drop in plastic waste,'' Olendo said.

Areas, where volunteers collected garbage included beaches around Shanzu, Jomo Kenyatta Public Beach, Shelly Beach, Nyali, Old Town, Tiwi, Diani, Msambweni, Vipingo,Kilifi, Watamu, Malindim Lamu and Mkokoni areas respectively.

In Mombasa County alone within a span of two hours, Olendo said that the volunteers had collected 3 tonnes of litter at the Jomo Kenyatta Public Beach.

Pride Inn Beach Resort Convention Centre and Spa General Manager, Ms Anny Peggy said that the hotel has taken the cue to join the rest of environmental conscious groups and work to ensure that the beaches remain clean.

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'' If we sit back and continue to litter the beautiful God-given beaches, they will not be attractive to mankind in the long run. We all have a big role to play to ensure that the environment in which we live is free from any form of pollution,'' she said.

She said that having a cleaner environment required concerted efforts from all stakeholders.

''There are other far much worse destinations elsewhere where dirt has found its way into the ocean waters making swimming impossible. Our Kenyan Coastal waters are far cleaner. This does not mean that we should just sit pretty,'' she said.

Dr Bernard Fulanda, marine expert from Pwani University said that awareness creation remains key to having cleaner beaches.

''Anyone of any age or ability should volunteer to take part in beach clean-up exercises which should be made routine,'' he said.

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