The year 2019 was a good one for pollution control and sustainable public sanitation advocates in Kenya. The year witnessed several significant interventions from the Government of Kenya, the industry and other players.
We saw Kenya Association of Manufacturers take a major step in recognising the role of industry in management of plastic waste by the launch of the National Plastic Action Plan (We will soon do an article to analyse the plan). We also saw an increase in the work of PETCO Kenya, which has doubled the recovery of plastic bottles waste in communities. Coca-cola also ran one of the biggest awareness campaigns to-date on proper disposal of plastic bottles targeting schools as well as through the local media. Many other organizations partnered with local communities to organise hundreds of community waste action initiatives across the country. Of notable mention are projects that were organised as part of the 2019 World Environment Day and World Cleanup Day.
The year also saw President Uhuru Kenyatta announce a ban on all single use plastics in Kenya’s protected areas, beaches and game-parks starting June 2020. The government also significantly reduced import taxes on recycling machinery in 2019.
At Clean Up Kenya we continued to advocate for and promote sustainable public sanitation through implementation of several projects in partnership with Packaging Industries Limited, How Global, Kenya Climate Innovation Centre, Debbie Oyugi Kids, Shepherd Sanna, Nairobi City County, National Environment Management Authority (NEMA), and Project Clean Up Langata, among others. We would not have done much without the support of these organisations and many volunteers and supporters. To all we say THANK YOU!
Despite these efforts and those of many others, Kenya still faces a sanitation crisis and emergency.
Our 2020 Clean Up Kenya Pledge is that we will not keep quiet.
We will continue to raise our voice to the sanitation problems facing Kenya.
We will continue to put duty bodies such as counties, the relevant state ministries and agencies to task to provide a framework to ensure Kenya attains acceptable sanitation standards as required by the law. This is particularly in areas of strengthening pollution regulation and efforcement, improvement of waste infrastructure, and investments in citizen behaviour and community education campaigns.
We will also continue to demand that corporations particularly those whose packaging contributes to the waste footprint in the country to adopt more responsibility for the recovery and recycling of these materials. In the case of plastic bottles, we will continue to demand a complete ban since the beverage industry has refused to entertain a deposit scheme.
On these issues we will not stay silent.
We will also continue doing actual and honest work in communities to spread the gospel of a litter-free and clean Kenya through our two flagship projects of Kenya Children for Environmental Change and Urban Community Cleanup Initiative.
We hope you will continue supporting our work. We invite you to support our 2020 Clean Up Kenya Pledge to continue advocating for and promoting sustainable public sanitation in the country.
Have a Happy New Year and Prosperous 2020!