On his first visit to Tanzania in the post, the new United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Executive Director, Erik Solheim, heard how the Coco Beach Action Group and Nipe Fagio are working on the ground in Dar es Salaam, taking direct action to improve the waste management situation in the city.
NF were invited to the special audience along with other strategically picked environmental NGOs - and close NF partners - including Borda, Sea Sense, Jane Goodall Foundation, Tanzania Forest Conservation Group, Femina Hip, government representatives, academia and others from both the public and private sector. As well as the group meeting, Mr Solheim also went on a field visit to see first-hand the vital work of the NF-inspired collective, Coco Beach Action Group (CCBAG), in creating community-led change. Group members Tina and Belia, the chairman and Total Waste Solutions directors, as well as NF staff talked Mr Solheim through the why, how and who of the organisation, highlighting their successes to date. He congratulated the group on their achievements, and emphasised the importance of citizen action in creating sustainable solutions for a greener world.
During Mr Solheim’s remarks to assembled audience earlier that day, he reinforced warnings that pollution is the number one ‘silent killer’, and outlined UNEP’s focus in Tanzania on rubbish collective, marine litter, supporting the plastic bag ban, beach cleaning and environmental security as a key factor in preventing insecurity and conflict. He cited the three key things that can contribute to environmental groups’ success: citizen-led movements, helping governments to lead and change policy, and engaging business in new and innovative products and systems - seeing them as the solution, and not an obstacle. Nipe Fagio’s mission will continue to be mindful of all three as we advocate and lead Dar es Salaam residents to creating and sustaining a healthier, safer city!
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