Kenyan volunteers numbering 3,000 took part in this
years annual International Coastal Clean up exercise
which covered long stretches of the white sandy beaches
in Mombasa, Diani, Likoni, Malindi, Kiunga Lamu, Kiwayu
Watamu and Jumba Ruins in Mtwapa, Kilifi county
According to International Coastal Clean Up Kenya
Co-ordinator David Olendo, preliminary report on the
exercise indicated that discarded medical equipments
like syringes and condoms still found their water into
or near our coastal beaches.
“Every year thousands of tons of garbage winds up in
the oceans, with 60 per cent of that being composed
of plastic material,” he said.
Plastics especially last a very long time in the ocean,
and are in such abundance that there are 46,000
individual pieces of plastic litter for every square
mile of ocean.
Plastics are very hazardous to marine life, killing more
than a million birds and over 100,000 seals, turtles,
and whales, and an immense number of fish in our ocean.
Coastal Cleanup Day encourages us to get out to our
beaches and help to limit this problem by cleaning up
the garbage that has washed up on shore, and that left
by visitors every day.
Coastal Cleanup Day was established by the Ocean
Conservancy, an organization that work to help protect
the ocean from the challenges it faces every year.
They serve as a voice for the ocean, speaking of the
issues that aren’t often represented through social
networking, publicized updates, and challenges like
asking your waitress to skip the straw for your drink.
Efforts like that work towards a trash free ocean.
Trash in the water impacts the world on many levels,
including harming wildlife, humans, and impacting the
livelihood of those who work on the ocean.
It causes economic damage by affecting tourism and
recreation and the money they bring into those
communities that are the ocean shore.
The Ocean Conservatory knows that solving these issues
requires bold initiatives and eliminating the sources of
the trash that damages the ocean.
Volunteers at the Kenyan coast were drawn from
educational institutions, private firms, environmental
NGos, tourist hotels and government agencies.
In Mombasa, the exercise took place along the scenic
Jomo Kenyatta Public Beach frontage with hundreds of
volunteers including staff from the US Embassy (Nairobi)
travelling down to Mombasa to take part in the event.
General Manager of Mombasa Serena Beach Hotel & Spa Tuva
Mwahunga led hotel staff, guests and local beach
operators in cleaning and collecting litter along its
white pristine sandy beaches.
“We are glad to honour this call of environmental
clean up as we join the rest of the world in this
very noble exercise,” Mwahunga said.
Mwahunga said that they have managed as a unit to
empower staff and guests alike to take an active role
in the preservation and cleaning up of the ocean.
Olendo said that garbage collected included plastic
bottles, food wrappers, plastic bottle caps, cigarette
butts, straws and glass with the most peculiar being
syringes and condoms.