Conservationists in Malindi have launched a program aimed at grooming young environmental champions to instill conservation knowledge in them from childhood.
The program, launched by the Progress Welfare Association of Malindi (PWAM) is at the forefront of cleaning up the resort town of Malindi under the ‘Go Blue and Green Campaign’.
PWAM organizes clean-ups in the town on the first weekend of every month. These clean-ups implemented under the Nyumba Kumi model serve to raise awareness in the community on the importance of maintaining a clean environment.
During such exercises, schools often involve their students in the clean-up activities. As a result, these students have begun to emerge as champions of blue economy through the impact of the knowledge they get from the activities.
Tamika Zawadi grade three pupil at Learning Hub School, has learnt through beach clean-ups that preserving oceans and water bodies is crucial. She emphasizes that by keeping the beaches clean, they can contribute to the conservation of turtles in the ocean.
“We have learnt not to throw trash everywhere, we learnt how to collect trash even here we are collecting trash from the Ocean,” she said.
Zayan Rashid Omar, a grade five pupil at Learning Hub school in Malindi represents the blue and green initiative and participates in beach clean-ups through which he has learnt the threat posed by plastics to marine life.
“It is very helpful to the Ocean bodies when the beach is clean so as to save life from the Ocean because humans depend on things such as fish, we all eat fish,” he said.
Omar encourages his peers and the general public to refrain from littering the environment and dispose of trash at designated bins.
Nasib Yusuf Salim also known as Nasib Dee Monsta is a dancer and Videographer based in Malindi who is actively involved in conservation efforts with PWAM. He advises fellow youth to join the clean-up exercise saying it is not only contributes to environmental cleanliness but also provides networking opportunities.
“Its really important we need to keep our environment clean we need to make Malindi beautiful,” he said.
Suleiman Salim the Acting Malindi Municipality Board Chairman who was present during the clean-up exercise said their first priority was to ensure they bring back the lost glory of Malindi to be the cleanest town in the country.
“We are here to protect the blue economy in the process and to develop the economy in general for fishermen,” he said.
Salim said the Municipality was now focusing on waste management and disposal, street lighting, drainage systems, security and addressing the problem of hawkers.