Clean Up Press Release from Watamu Marine Association
The Kenya Coastal Cleanup on Saturday was a huge success with beach cleanup teams in action in 4 coast counties Lamu, Kilifi, Mombasa and Kwale. At least 14 teams with hundreds of volunteers from Kiunga in the north to Wasini Island on the south coast were out collecting tonnes of waste which washes up on our beaches daily. Much of this waste comes from other countries and reaches our shores on ocean currents.
Results coming in so far have the Watamu Marine Park team led by the Kenya Wildlife Service collecting 2,765kg of waste. There was a great turnout at Mombasa Marine Park with a team of more than 1,000 volunteers collecting 1,500kg of waste. The Malindi Marine Park team led by KWS and Wildlife Clubs of Kenya also had a big turnout with more than 600 volunteers collecting 1,434kg, Kuruwitu Conservation and Welfare Association led over 150 volunteers collecting over 750kg, the Msambweni team of 200 volunteers came in with 645kg and the Mkwiro team on Wasini island picked up over 1500kg of waste. Estimated total is over 8,500kg of waste. Total amounts of collected waste still to be confirmed from Lamu, Kilifi and Diani/Galu.
This global event is organised by the Ocean Conservancy in the US and more than 100 countries participate each year. The data they receive from the event helps them to collect scientific information for education purposes and to gain support and lobby governments and policy makers in an effort to reduce the amount of waste and pollutants entering the world?s oceans.
Watamu Marine Association is the national cleanup organiser for Kenya working in partnership with the Ocean Sole Foundation. Their aim is to raise public awareness on the threats facing our oceans and beaches from waste and pollution. They work to empower communities to develop waste recycling enterprises which can generate an income for community groups. Ezra Onyango, the National Coordinator said that ?this was a great public event and now that people are more aware of the threats to the environment and public health caused by waste we plan to organise regular beach cleanups and will look for more support from County Government and the business sector.? Event sponsors included NEMA, Nakumatt, Whitesands Resort and Post Bank in Mombasa, Standard Bank, East Africa Women?s League, Kenya Women in Tourism, Malindi Resident?s Association, Malindi Golf Club, Hawaii Enterprise and Coca Cola in Malindi and in conjunction with the Ocean Sole Foundation, Base Titanium and Friends for Life in Kwale County and the Body Shop Foundation in Kuruwitu/Vipingo.
Steve Trott from Watamu Marine Association said that ?It is estimated that more than 8 million items of litter enter the world?s ocean every day, and about 6.4 million tonnes of marine litter are disposed of in the world?s oceans and seas each year. We need to work together as one big coastal community to turn the tide on trash.? A huge thanks goes out to everyone that participated in the event. A truly global activity that 3000 or more Kenyan?s actively cleaned over 30kms of Kenya?s coastline
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