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How Kenya is fighting waste management for a cleaner and safer environment

  • By Vivian Kwame
  • March 8, 2021
  • 0 Comment

As waste keeps piling up on landfills and dumpsites, more ventures are coming up with different ways of recycling waste into art and other creative innovations to help curb waste management.

In Kenya, both the government and the youth are at the forefront of mitigating plastic pollution and waste management in general through policies and different innovations. As a highlight of this, Kenya recently emerged as a leader in the fight against plastic pollution in East Africa during the virtual convening of the fifth session of the UN Environment Assembly, the planet’s top environmental decision-making body.

The Kenya Government banned the use of single plastics about three years ago and this has been a big step towards fighting plastic pollution. In addition, organisations such as Kenya Polyethylene Terephthalate Recycling Company (PETCO) are also at the forefront of reducing plastic waste in the country through better waste management practices, recycling and up-cycling. They have partnered with different stakeholders such as collectors, recyclers, industry experts, manufacturers, government, civil society, and other private sector associations with the objective of creating a bigger impact and reaching a wider audience.

Related article: The golden age of plastic recycling is here

For innovations, initiatives such as Creative Waste Network (Crewan), a youth-led initiative, is keen on creating environmental conservation awareness as well as promoting creativity through recycling. They recycle and upcycle paper waste, plastic waste, cloth waste as well as glass waste. They have previously repurposed used soft drink cans into Christmas trees, turned old newspapers and old cartons into beautiful flower vases and made jewelry (earrings and bracelets) from plastic bottles.

To add on these, the company also runs programs in schools around sustainability. Through this, they aim to raise a generation that is environmentally conscious. Under these programs, they visit schools and teach them how they can manage their solid waste.

Over to Dandora slum, Believers Dandora, a community based organisation is keen on mitigating waste management in the famous Dandora dumpsite by transforming its environs into clean and safe hangout spots for the community. To ensure this, they have installed garbage bins in every courtyard and are also in charge of the maintenance of the drainage systems.

Inspired with the desire to have a clean and safe environment space for kids, the youth-based group has managed to create awareness on waste management and has also involved the community in taking part for support. From the waste collected, they are able to recycle a good chunk of it and repurpose them into seats and tables for recreational spaces.

Read also: Kenya School of Government visits KCIC to explore partnership opportunities

As much as Kenya still has a long way to go when it comes to waste management, the country is on the right path towards achieving a safer and cleaner environment. More Kenyans are becoming aware of the problem at hand and a good portion are working towards solving it.

Organisations too are also finding different ways to help curb the problem. For instance, Kenya Climate Innovation Center (KCIC) in partnership with What Design Can Do are currently running a competition titled #NoWasteChallenge, which aims to address the enormous impact of waste and consumerism on climate change.

Both KCIC and What Design Can Do believe that designers and creative entrepreneurs also play big role in solving these solutions towards a sustainable future hence the competition.

The competition is currently seeking out designers and creative entrepreneurs to submit their solutions to reduce waste and rethink our entire production and consumption cycle by 21st April 2021.

If you believe you are the ideal candidate for this competition you can apply through this link  https://www.kenyacic.org/.