In a bid to address post-consumer waste in Kenya, the Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) has established KEPRO, (Kenya Extended Producer Responsibility Organization), an initiative to bring together players in the waste value chain. The Organization aims to increase national awareness and protect Kenya’s natural environment from waste and pollution.
Arnolda Shiundu, one of the Board Members, has released a report detailing the role of education and creating awareness as a way of empowering communities with knowledge on climate change, environmental conservation, and restoration.
On World Earth Day, hundreds of millions of people globally united in a call for urgent action on the restoration of the planet after decades of rampant degradation. This year’s theme, Restore our Earth was a call to all people to restore the planet’s ecosystems amid a devastating pandemic.
Arnolda further explains that the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) postulates that the worldwide health pandemic has been linked to the health of our ecosystem. According to scientists, COVID-19 is likely to have originated from a bat before crossing over to humans due to the ongoing destruction and encroachment of natural habitats. Consequently, this has increased human-wildlife interactions and the crossover of diseases from one species to another.
According to Arnolda, human activities such as industrialization, pollution, deforestation, and overexploitation of natural resources lead to an unhealthy planet. Moreover, global warming and climate change will continue to cause extreme weather events such as floods, hurricanes, heatwaves, droughts, and famine.
According to experts, climate and environmental education coupled with civic education will help raise a new generation of individuals equipped with the ability to make better sustainable consumer choices and the skills needed for jobs in a circular economy. Moreover, it will lead to job creation, boost the economy, increase innovation and the creation of environmentally friendly goods and services.
Plastiki Rafiki, a student-led club at the International School of Kenya, is recycling discarded plastic through creative manufacturing techniques and product design to make innovative products and empower local communities to earn a living. Arnolda highlights the need to accord climate and environmental literacy the same importance as any core subject like mathematics or science.
KEPRO, has reiterated its commitment to empower every Kenyan with the right education to successfully restore our environment. This, by driving consumer education and public awareness in Kenya on the environment, sustainable waste management practices, recycling, and the circular economy.
The organization is calling upon the government to incorporate quality climate education as a core subject in the school curriculum. This is aimed at ensuring that every child is educated on the climate crisis and organizations to prioritize climate education in their sustainability agenda.