KMFRI Joins Hands with Stakeholders to Fight Marine Pollution
By Dr Christopher Aura Mulanda, Dr Chrisphine Nyamweya, Mr Horace Owiti Onyango and Mr Patrick Otuo
Pollution is among the major challenges threatening the health of oceans, lakes and beaches. When the integrity and wellbeing of the Lakes and their basins is compromised, human health will be at risk, considering that many people depend on seafood as their source of protein.
A study conducted by researchers from Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute (KMFRI) has cited litter from urban centers, households and tourism as the main source of environmental pollution.
KMFRI Director/CEO Prof James Njiru officially signing the KLDVP document
This litter is washed through surface run offs, slopes, and rivers to become beach and coastal pollution thus degrading the ecosystem of the Lakes and their basins.
A collaborative agreement by stakeholders involved in marine environment conservation in Kenya has seen a formation of Kenya Lake Debris Volunteer Programme (KLDVP), to provide a voice for the aquatic environment, in a bid to achieve a litter free coastal environment.
The secretariat of this social action programme will be hosted at KMFRI-Kisumu and will spearhead mobilization of volunteers to get out to their local beaches and help limit the litter problem by cleaning up garbage along the beaches and banks.
While participating in the cleaning, volunteers will go beyond picking up trash to record each item collected on a standardized data form in order to identify ways of eliminating coastal litter in the future.
Apart from cleaning up the coastlines, they will also educate participants and the public on the importance of keeping the coast free of debris in order to influence positive behavioral change and to encourage greater interest and eventual participation in beach cleanups.
The cumulative result is not only a cleaner and healthier coastline but also a raised consciousness for accessible actions that people can integrate into their lives in order to promote healthy beaches on a daily basis.
KMFRI Director/CEO Prof James Njiru presents the KLDVP Document to White Oaks Student, Miss Michelle Muchilwa