Close to two tonnes of plastic and glass waste were collected at the Jomo Kenyatta Public Beach in on Wednesday.
The 1.7 tonnes of waste were collected by members of the public during a beach clean-up exercise organized by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Go Blue team in conjunction with Jumuiya ya Kaunti za Pwani (JKP) and the Kenya Wildlife Service at Pirates beach.
Speaking before launching the clean-up exercise, Oumar Sylla from the UN-Habitat said the cleaning exercise will be carried out across all the coastal counties in order to boost Blue Economy.
“It aims to raise awareness on plastic pollution and to stimulate debate and collaboration between stakeholders and the wider ocean community to act against marine litter,” said Oumar.
Mombasa Marine Park Deputy Park Warden Salim Makomba said the clean-up activity was one way to ensure that the oceans are healthy for animals and the health of people using them.
“When we dump things in the oceans, it affects the creatures that live in the ocean like turtles, fish, and coral. Turtles end up eating plastic and fish end up eating gum wrappers thinking they are food. Such items do not get digested and later end up killing them,” said Salim.
Salim urged those going to the beach to relax and have fun not to carry along single-use plastics as they are among the contributors to the pollution witnessed in the ocean.
“We will make this clean-up activity a daily thing. We have scouts who do the cleaning and later on the waste is collected and taken to the main dumping site in Kibarani,” the Deputy Warden said.
“Let those coming to beach find the beach clean and ensure that when they are leaving, they leave the ocean and beach as clean as they found them,” he added.
Different stakeholders were involved in the Wednesday morning exercise.