Last September over 350 people gathered on Kawe Beach for International Coastal Cleanup day, see Story.
We have since received the following report from Watamu Marine Association, which shows how we did in relation to the rest of the region:
International Coastal Cleanup 2014 – East Africa Report
September 20th was International Coastal Cleanup Day. This annual event is organised by the Ocean Conservancy based in the USA. The data they receive from the event helps them to collect scientific information for education purposes and to gain support and lobby governments and policy makers in an effort to reduce the amount of garbage and pollutants entering the world’s oceans. Last year 648,015 volunteers in 92 countries picked up 5,590,000kg of garbage.
Last year Watamu Marine Association (WMA) and partner organisation Ocean Sole Foundation organised the first East Africa cleanup. 16 coastal communities took part from Kiunga in the north of Kenya to Mafia Island in Tanzania. Together we collected 9,803kg of garbage. See data table and participants here.
This year we saw another great effort with 41 groups, organisations and schools from 12 coastal communities taking part from Lamu to Dar es Salaam. 14 beaches were cleaned covering more than 30km. More than 1,100 people collected 9,803kg of marine debris (garbage/taka taka) which was an amazing coincidence as it is exactly the same amount as last year.
6 cleanup teams managed to complete data forms which gave us an indication of the most common types of marine debris found on our beaches:
Flip flops – 1,946 pieces Polystyrene – 1,683 pieces Plastic bottles – 1,546 pieces Plastic bottle caps – 700 pieces
From previous experience and cleanup data we have calculated that the most numerous waste items found on our beaches are polystyrene and plastic bottle caps as they are not often counted. The good news is that plastic and flip flops can be reused or recycled. In Watamu our plastic waste is put through a crusher machineand reduced to small chips which is then sold by the kilo to recycling industries in Mombasa.
Flip flop waste is used by Ocean Sole and Watamu community artists to create unique curios and works of art.
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