Several national and grassroot non-governmental organizations and activists have met in Nairobi, Kenya, to call for a united civil society action plan for the sustainable management of plastics in the country.
Among the organizations include The Centre for Environmental Justice and Development (CEJAD), Clean Up Kenya, Kenya Environment Action Network, Africa Sustainability Network, Slums Going Green And Clean Africa, Kenya Safi, EnviroWild, Friends of Nairobi National Park, Embulbul Waste Management among others.
Also in attendance was James Wakibia, a photojournalist and leading advocate against single-use plastics in East Africa and who is also credited with jump-starting a movement against plastic bags in Kenya which led to a nationwide ban in 2017. Also in attendance was Bernard Ogembo, a journalist from Nakuru with an interest in environment, business and technology reporting.
Speaking at this forum, Betterman Simidi, Clean Up Kenya Founder and Patron stated, “we need a unified civil society voice on issues of plastics in Kenya.”
Mr Christopher Murithi from Embulbul Environment Waste Management stated that civil society has not been adequately involved in plastic management policy with Gisore Nyabuti calling for more involvement of vulnerable groups, particularly from the informal settlements.
On the other hand, Caroline Kibii of EnviroWild stated that a unified civil society action plan can help foster the implementation of existing policies, particularly those affecting wildlife and forests. An example of this policy is the ban of single-use plastics in Kenya’s protected areas which include forests and parks. This policy was announced by President Uhuru Kenyatta and implemented starting July 2020.
The Centre for Environmental Justice and Development (CEJAD) was the convener of this civil society exchange. CEJAD is a public interest Non-Governmental Organization that works to promote sound management of chemicals and waste in order to protect the natural environment and well-being of the Kenyan people, especially vulnerable populations.
The civil societies who met will announce the next steps in coming weeks.
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