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County Governments urged to set up garbage bins on beaches

Beach conservation groups are urging the County Governments with coastlines to set up garbage bins along the coastlines to make the beaches free and safe from plastics as the festive season beckons.

According to the Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute (KMFRI), plastic pollution has become a serious concern globally, with plastic debris being the most pervasive form of anthropogenic litter in oceans and freshwater systems worldwide.

“The presence of microplastics has been reported in the gastrointestinal tracts of commercial fish species and the human lung tissue. Respiratory symptoms and disease following exposure to occupational levels of microplastics within industry settings have also been reported,” reads part of the KMFRI Mtafiti publication.

Jigrow and Mkomani Conservations groups after a beach clean-up exercise that was supported by KMFRI. Photo by Haniel Mengistu.

The institute has teamed up with Jigrow Coast Conservation Group and Mkoma Youth Boxing Group to clean up Mkomani Beach in Nyali Constituency while getting professional advice from the scientists.

The sea is getting very dirty and as a research institute there is a study that has been done showing that by the year 2050, there will be more waste in the sea than fish and it is very dangerous,” said Hezekiel Gikambi, KMFRI Assistant Director Strategic Communication.

He added that when the waste finds its way into the sea it ends up in the food chain. The ocean is the lung of the world. KMFRI scientists have come up with an application dubbed, Taka Connect to connect garbage collectors and factories involved in the recycling of plastics.

Fredrick Mwenda, a member of the Jigrow Coast Conservation Group says the sea has tons of waste especially plastics, thus the need for regular clean-ups.

“We are requesting for cleaning gears and equipment to be used in waste collection. I urge the county government to put up dust bins along the beaches,” he said, adding that they are also involved in the growing of seaweeds and urged the government to assist them source for markets.

Mwenda also called on the State Department of Maritime and Fisheries to educate coastal residents on the opportunities in the ocean, which largely remain unexploited.

“Only ten percent of the sea is used, while 90 percent is unexploited,” he said.

Meanwhile, boxing Coach Ibrahim Reje trains Mkomani youths boxing on the beach to discourage them from indulging in drug and substance abuse, and after training they clean the beach.

By Sadik Hassan

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