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Lobbying for studies on environment in school

By | June 8th 2011

By Michael Oriedo

The National Environment Management Authority (Nema) wants environmental studies to be part of the primary and secondary school curriculum.

Nema has presented a proposal to Kenya Institute of Education (KIE), which seeks to make environmental studies a subject of choice for students and make them conscious of the importance of conserving their surroundings.

The environmental management agency will use the strategy to create awareness and sensitise students on issues related with the protection of the environment, for instance solid waste management.

"At the core of the approach is the promotion of the 4R concept of reduce, recover, reuse and recycle," said Nema’s Compliance and Enforcement Officer Wilson Maritim.

Maritim observed that peoples’ attitude greatly influence the way they manage their waste and it is important to start shaping behaviours at a tender age.

4R concept

He noted that achievement of the 4R concept is rooted in the process that starts with waste generation and storage.

"Storage should involve separation of waste as per categories, with different bins being used to receive different waste streams, for instance plastics only, paper only and so on," he advised. He said the agency will put in place an integrated solid waste management system, which will cover the entire waste management cycle from generation up to disposal.

Maritim was speaking while presiding over a Ribena waste recycling campaign in Nairobi. The Ribena campaign seeks to communicate to students the benefits of recycling waste and other materials and encourage them to make it part of their daily routines.

Targeted group

The recycling campaign targets more than 80 schools and will encourage pupils to collect Ribena packs for recycling under a program methat would see the packs recycled into building materials.

So far, 43 primary schools in Nairobi are participating in the campaign run by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). The company will give awards to top three schools that collect the most Ribena tetra packs. The students and the firm will work with a recycling plant — Ekotech, to recycle the packs into building materials, which will be presented to approximately 500 families in a slum in Nairobi.

The school collecting the most Ribena tetrapaks will get Sh50,000, and the children will get an opportunity to present the building materials produced from the recycled packs to the families in need. The first runners-up school will get Sh30,000, while the second runners-up school will get Sh20,000.

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