Civil society for zero plastics – Kenya
On march 24th2021,CEJAD held a consultative meeting with grassroots organizations and other stakeholders in the waste management sector to deliberate on the need to form a unified civil society voice to champion for plastic pollution reduction and elimination in Kenya.
The main aim of the meeting was on the creation of a CSOs platform for a collective voice and advocacy for a zero plastic waste Kenya to safeguard the interest and rights of the public against spread of the plastic and chemicals pollution. Kenya has been a leading force against plastic pollution in the Africa region. In 2017, the country enacted a protective law against single use plastic which has been cited as a model for many other nations.
However, since 2017, the country has faced many challenges in the implementation of the law including among others; illegal imports of plastic bags, poor enforcement of laws and lobbying against the ban on plastics by the industry.
The workshop was organized to address the need for strong alliance of civil society organizations (CSOs) as a watchdog and a platform where CSOs can speak as a collective voice against the efforts of the plastic industry but also influence policy to safeguard the interest and rights of the public against spread of the plastic and chemicals pollution in Kenya.
A total of 24 participants drawn from various civil-society organizations across the country attended the forum.Organizations represented were, Clean up Kenya, Enviroworld, Slums Going Green and Clean, Kenya Safi, African sustainability Network, Strathmore University, Kenyatta Environmental club, Africa Nazarene Environmental club, Kenya Safi, Friends of Nairobi National park and Enactus club of Nairobi University, Embulbul waste management and James wakibia, a photojournalist among others.
- The members present agreed that advocacy work should target both Upstream (producers and; manufacturers)and downstream (consumers).
- From the workshop, the team agreed to form a coalition and they are to suggest the name of the Coalition and should be presented in the next meeting
- On membership it was agreed that all like-minded individuals and organizations such as Faith based organizations (FBOs), community advocacy groups, youth initiatives, individuals advocating against plastic pollution/campaigners, academia, NGOs, policy-makers, media, and grassroots representation e.g waste pickers could form the membership of the coalition
By calling our government to go beyond recovery to a zero waste future would mean;
- Integration of waste pickers in the formal waste management system and recognizing their efforts in reviving the circular Economy.
- Governments investing in solutions that work for people and planet and that will help in attaining zero waste ,Economic Recovery and job creation of waste solutions in Kenya
- Governments banning incineration of waste for it will undermine a green recovery
- Breaking Free From plastics by enacting policies that drastically reduce plastic production and consumption
- Our government putting local communities first by ensuring transparency in how projects are done and how taxpayers money is used to promote sustainability
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