The partnership seeks to promote the usage of non-biodegradable litter bags within the National Parks and Game Reserves. The aim is to end the menace plastic waste in the park which causes harm to the ecosystem and endangering lives of wild animals with threats of extinction.
BY RADING BIKO
The National Environment Complaints Committee (NECC) has partnered with 3Es Experience organization to promote environment conservation at the Nairobi National Park. The partnership took effect this past Labour Day, when staff from both organizations camped at the Nairobi National Park from as early as 6:00am to as late as 5:00pm, drumming up the need to keep the park waste-free.
The partnership took effect this past Labour Day when staff from both organizations camped at the Nairobi National Park drumming up the need to keep the park waste-free.
3Es Experience staff issuing out of environmental-friendly litter bags.
“For a very long time, plastic inside our national parks and recreation areas have been neglected. When we talk about environmental conservation, we decided to partner with 3Es Experience organization, who have been doing a wonderful public awareness job inside the Nairobi National Park, undertaking conservation inside the world famous animal sanctuary. It’s time we create awareness around environmental conservation within parks and recreation areas,” says Dr. John Chumo, NECC, Committee Secretary.
The state agency took part in distributing recyclable litter bags to visitors at Nairobi National Park and sensitizing visitors on the importance of conservation during the Labour Day celebration.
NECC staff sensitizing visitors on the dangers on non-biodegradable wastes to wildlife and issuing out of litter bags to tourists.
This partnership came at a time when visitor numbers at the Nairobi National Park are expected to soar following the lifting of restrictions on inter-county movements and potential reopening of schools in the coming week.
“During Labour Day 2021, over 120 man hours have been put on the ground by the teams in distribution over 1,000 non-biodegradable litter bags, sensitizing over 6,000 visitors who came touring the Nairobi National Park on waste management. “We have encouraged them to conserve the earth and participate in wildlife protection, by responsibly handling their wastes and plastics,” said Vivian Kemboi, Founder & Executive Director of 3Es Experience Organization.
The Waste Free Park Initiative is spearheaded by youth environmentalists’ keen on plastics reduction and wildlife protection of National Park ecosystem. The campaign discourages littering, encouraging environmentally friendly waste disposal methods. Non-biodegradable waste causes harm to animal ecosystems, endangering lives of animals and escalating risks of extinction.
Ms Kemboi did reveal that “Normally, a game drive in the park takes an average of between 3 hrs-5 hrs. Visitors carry snacks and drinks that have plastic packaging. Most vehicles do not have a litter bin or an alternative trash can. Therefore, trash is easily tossed out of the vehicles’ windows. Many of these plastics are not biodegrade. Instead, they slowly break down into smaller fragments known as micro plastics. Plastic items are made of polystyrene foam, which can take up to a thousand of years to decompose, contaminating soil and water. Plastic bags in high concentration have previously been found blocking the airways and stomach of hundreds of animal species”.
The government of Kenya has in the last few years banned Single Use Plastics, with tremendous challenges facing implementation.
The local based organization works in close collaboration with Athi-River based Apex Steel Ltd, YouTube Channel: “Where is Vivienne?” and the Kenya Wildlife Service. Since their first event in October 2020, the organization says it has so far deployed over 800 man-hours at the Nairobi National Park, distributing litterbags, sensitizing the public and collecting feedback from over 56,000 tourists on environmental conservation and wildlife protection at the park.
3Es Experience staff pose for a photo during the event
“This kind of strategic partnerships and collaborations will go a long way in conserving the environments across our parks such as Tsavo, Lake Nakuru, Amboseli and Maasai Mara. Those counties with national parks and game reserves should also come on board to help the national government in environment conservation. Other interested partners are welcomed to help make the initiative more sustainable and impactful” said Dr. John Chumo.
He added that “Data from the KNBS indicates that about 10 per cent of the country`s landscape has been set aside for wildlife conservation and bio-diversity, and is therefore threatened when human activities expose the sanctuaries to pollution. As visitors going into these parks and recreation areas, we are therefore beholden with the responsibility of protecting and conserving them,”.