Starting Today: Millions Poised to Clean Up the World

Posted on 18 September 2008. Filed under: Environment |

On 19-21 September, the 16th Clean Up the World weekend will see millions of volunteers come together in more than 100 countries to clean up their environment.

The theme of this year’s event is ‘Start Today… Save Tomorrow – Clean Up our Climate’.

One focus is the tide of trash polluting the world’s seas-it is estimated there are more than 13,000 pieces of plastic in every square kilometre of ocean.

Australian Ian Kiernan launched Clean Up the World 16 years ago with the support of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) after he was shocked by the large amounts of rubbish he saw during a solo round-the-world ocean race.

The event now mobilizes an estimated 35 million volunteers from more than 110 countries every year, making it one of the largest community-based environmental campaigns in the world.

During the weekend local communities will take action on a number of environmental issues, including protecting water sources, saving energy and reducing waste.

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3 Responses to “Starting Today: Millions Poised to Clean Up the World”

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This is fantastic! Any idea who is involved in Kenya and what organisations. A few years ago, I coordinated a project to build a life size whale out of flipflops collected from the beaches along the Kenyan coast. Several thousand flipflops later, Mfalme was born; YOu can read about it and watch the BBC video on Animals and Ethics:

NCC braces Nairobi for monthly wash

NAIROBI, September 21 – City Hall and the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) are working to involve residents in cleaning up Nairobi City, once a month.

Mayor Godfrey Majiwa revealed on Saturday that the Nairobi City Council (NCC) would be introducing a new by-law, setting aside one day every month for residents to take part in a communal clean-up exercise.

Majiwa said that the proposed ‘eco-day’, similar to Rwanda’s omuganda, would make Nairobi’s populace more responsible in disposing waste and more conscious of ensuring the city is clean.

“You will ensure that your environment is clean, because you are the one doing the cleaning. But if it’s not your responsibility to come out and clean, it won’t be your business,” the Mayor argued.

He made the remarks during a clean-up exercise in the capital city to mark the Clean The World Day, and observed that the eco-day has been successful in Rwanda.

Majiwa complained that the council’s efforts to clean up the city had been frustrated by irresponsible residents, who constantly litter.

“Our responsibility is to remind you that it is your duty as a resident of the city to maintain cleanliness. Do not leave it to us; we must do it together,” he encouraged.

“You need to change your waste disposal methods and stop blaming the council for the filth in the city,” Majiwa added, revealing that the NCC cannot access an estimated 4.4 million tonnes of solid waste due to ill-planned buildings that block access routes.

Also present, NEMA Director General Muusya Mwinzi reaffirmed that they would soon be releasing waste management guidelines requiring all city residents to sort out their solid waste before disposing of it.

“We want to put in place guidelines that will ensure that the generator of solid waste, be it industrial or household waste, dispose of it properly. We will be asking you to sort out or segregate the waste,” he said.

Mwinzi and Majiwa reported that the NCC had already secured a 200-acre plot in Ruai, where a new waste management plant would be placed, including a land-fill and an incinerator.

Transfer stations would be set up at each corner of the city where waste would be sorted before being taken to the plant.

The first station will be on a 21-acre piece of land in Kariobangi South.

“We want to plant a shed there where our youth will be engaged in the sifting process. In this way we can give hope and sustainable livelihoods to our youths,” Mwinzi observed.

He said they are already working with a number of major supermarkets to ensure separate litter bins are erected outside the stores to demonstrate how the new guidelines would work.

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