Technical University of Mombasa students and staff led other stakeholders in collecting waste from the beaches as part of marking the International Coastal Cleanup day on Saturday, September 16, 2023.
TUM staff and students managed to collect up to 9 kilograms of plastic waste, alone, a development that signifies the gravity of threats facing our seashore.
In all, different groups that volunteered for the event managed to collect up to 900 kgs of plastic waste from three different locations namely Tudor creek, Jomo Kenyatta Public Beach and Mtwapa creek.
The international cleanup event is held once a year to sensitize the public on the importance of protecting coastal ecosystems from all kinds of pollutants.
In his key note address, the Chief Director of Kenya Coast Guards (KCG) Mr. John Wanyoike disclosed that the country is expecting elnino rains from next month; therefore, he urged the coastal residents to collect all plastic waste in their areas.
Such action, he said, is needed to prevent the sweeping of the waste to the sea by the elnino rains hence worsening the pollution of the delicate marine ecosystems including fish and other animals.
“Our lives on planet earth entirely depend on the oceans; therefore, it is only wise that we take care of the oceans, otherwise we can perish due to climate consequences,” KCG boss said.
“We need to rise to the occasion to ensure our oceans are safe. Research has shown that by 2050, we shall have more plastics than fish in our oceans” Mr. Wanyoike cautioned.
Another call for the care of coastal ecosystem came from Chairman of Hospitality and Tourism Department at TUM, Dr. Muhoro Mwangi, who advised locals to embrace responsible tourism by delivering all waste to only the designated areas.
Dr. Muhoro also used the occasion to encourage the youth to join Technical University of Mombasa to pursue various courses related to tourism and environmental conservation so that they can play key future role of making our oceans safe.
The main objective of the international coastal cleanup day for this year was not only to clean up the beaches, but also to examine and research the various types of trash that were collected during the cleanup.
The documentation process involved studying the trash materials, its possible sources, the time it would take to disintegrate, and the potential effects it would have on the ocean and its inhabitants.
Ultimately, this information will be shared with government officials to aid in the development of appropriate policies with the view to get a lasting solution to the pollution problem.