Deputy President William Ruto has directed the Environment ministry to set a date for the monthly cleaning of counties to rid them of plastic waste.
Ruto noted on Tuesday that plenty of plastic waste ends up in the ocean due to careless disposal.
“Ten million tonnes of plastic waste are disposed every year worldwide. Kenya alone disposes of two million tonnes, with 90 percent going to the ocean, causing severe floods,” he said at Kwale’s Baraza Park.
“Plastics in oceans degrade poorly, producing toxins that enter the food chain, impacting on human health. Plastic has inflicted environmental damage on land, air and sea with vulnerable ecosystems bearing the brunt of this devastation; affecting livelihoods, fishing and tourism.”
He attended a function to mark World Environment Day.
The DP underscored the need for county governments to introduce policies to manage waste disposal.
He commended Wajir, Makueni and Isiolo for budgeting for waste eradication and taking steps to mitigate its effects.
“The nation should strive for low carbon emission formula instead of burning plastic bags. This is why the government launched tree planting day – to increase forest cover to 20 percent by the year 2022.”
Ruto noted that efforts to conserve the environment include the Education ministry’s introduction of climate change in curricula.
He added that the government will prioritise the planting of mangrove trees, which is the dominant specie at the Coast.
“Forty thousand seedlings have already have been planted in Mombasa, Kilifi and Kwale counties. The government will put more effort into increasing tree planting in the country to boost forest cover.”
Environment Cabinet Secretary Keriako Tobiko said the ministry had partnered with firms for the recycling of plastic bottles and creation of households products such as brooms, tiles and mats.