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Youth urged youth to be stewards of environment

More than 200 youth engaged in a three-hour clean-up exercise in Nanyuki town on Friday as a voluntary activity to mark the end of the year.

In the 2024 message, they encouraged fellow youth to be sensitive to the environment through reduction, recycling, and reuse in an effort to address the problem of tonnes of solid waste management in the county.

Youth load some waste in a truck during a clean-up exercise in Nanyuki, Laikipia County on Friday, December 29, 2023. Photo by Muturi Mwangi

Nanyuki alone generates about 20,000 metric tonnes of solid waste in a month, and the Laikipia County government has admitted challenges in dealing with the plastic waste menace.

The county has been calling for partnerships from environmental stakeholders to address the situation of waste, with only 30 per cent of plastics being recycled by entrepreneurs and sold to plastic industries in Nairobi City and other major towns.

The environmental youth champions noted that solid waste could be used in a creative way to generate income for them and address the issue of unemployment in the county.

“Our main aim is to sensitise youth on the importance of a clean environment and, at the same time, create opportunities for themselves through waste. As next year begins, let us be environmental champions,” said John Maigwa, Ng’arisha mtaa CEO, a community-based organisation that promotes environmental conservation in Laikipia County.

Dickson Maina from the Dedan Kimathi Foundation, an institution that supports environment-led initiatives in the country, appealed for prudent use of plastic materials in a bid to ensure efforts towards solid waste management were achieved.

“I appeal to people that next year they should be environmentally friendly; let’s reduce plastic use through reuse and recycling. Solid waste should also be segregated for proper use,” noted Maina.

Laikipia County Government Representative Chris Thumbi applauded the youth for coming together and conducting the clean-up exercise, where he noted they were setting good examples for other areas.

By Muturi Mwangi

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