Each year, Kenya celebrates World Wetlands Day on 2nd February to promote conservation and sustainable utilization of wetlands. The theme for World Wetlands Day 2021 was Wetlands and Water. This year, we celebrated World Wetlands Day at Sabaki Estuary, Kilifi County organized by NEMA. We all came together to restore and conserve Wetlands for better health of environment and life. Sabaki Estuary is one of Kenya’s biggest bird and hippo sanctuary as it’s a vital nesting and feeding grounds for birds such as flamingos, gulls and terns. Located about 10km North of Malindi Town in Malindi District, Kilifi County, Kenya. The Sabaki Estuary forms sand banks, dunes and Mangroves.
The Sabaki Estuary Management plan 2009-2015 indicates some of the challenges facing the estuary as habitat destruction, siltation, unsustainable sand harvesting, encroachment/riverbank farming and low level of environmental education and awareness among the adjacent communities. Therefore, the WWD 2021 is aimed at raising awareness on the need to protect the estuary and sustainably utilize the resources within this ecosystem. – National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA).
Our team, Trashion Kenya, was selected as one of the vendors to showcase at WWD 2021, in partnership with Futbolmas Kenya, whose plastic recycled keychains we showcased to generate sales as part of our contribution to achieve their missions in supporting their zero waste and youth empowerment initiatives for disadvantaged youths.
Driving to Sabaki Estuary with my Aunt Zuri who came to support us and take part in WWD 2021 that early Tuesday morning took us about 25 minutes from Malindi Town. After passing Sabaki River’s strict checkpoint; Cops checked our National IDs and ensured we had our masks on before letting us pass; we took a right turn entering a rough road which took us about 5 minutes to arrive at the Sabaki Estuary. Cars parked from where the sand dunes formed. We had to alight from our taxi headed towards the event venue, marked by big white tents. The sun was scorching as we walked up a hill of sand dunes towards the tents.
Katoi Wa Tabaka & the Afro Simba Band entertained us creating a musical ambience with their cultural music performance throughout the event.
We participated in Mangrove planting where 17,000 mangroves were planted during WWD 2021 hosted by NEMA. Special guests were Ministry of Environment and Forestry Cabinet Secretary Mr. Keriako Tobiko CBS, SC, CAS Hon Mohamed Elmi, among many other delegates, and environmental Organizations like PWAM, Hippocampus, Watamu Marine Association, Trashion Kenya in partnership with FutbolMas Kenya, to mention a few. It was a huge turn out!
At Trashion Kenya, our vision is to create a zero waste future through environmental awareness, recycling and public support for environmental sustainability and people’s livelihoods. In partnership with FutbolMas Organization whose mission is in alignment with ours, through their Income Generating Activities (IGA); recycling plastic waste into valuable accessories and utilities to empower youth in Mathare slum, Nairobi, Kenya, fitting perfectly into the theme of World Wetlands Day 2021.
FutbolMas is a non-profit organization that uses sports, soccer and games as a tool for social transformation. Its purpose is to build happier communities in the world, creating protected spaces for children, strengthening resilience in children and young people and enhancing meaningful ties and community cohesion.
During the event, our Team, Trashion Kenya, sold 43 plastic recycled keychains each at Khs. 250/- for Futbolmas; Effue Opiyo, Habiba Abdulrahman and Peter Mkristo. The profits from the sale of the products goes towards supporting the Futbol Mas after school sports and life-skills program for disadvantaged youth. In 2020, Futbol Mas Kenya was able to reach 9354 children (3852 boys and 3300 girls),51 youth leaders and 60 community leaders refugee communities.
These keychains are 100% recycled from plastic waste at Futbolmas Kenya Mathare Workshop in Nairobi, plastic recycling machines donated by Plastiki Rafiki. The recycled plastic keychains are stunning in color with different shapes presenting wildlife and marine life. Please check this video to know more about plastic recycling process, and Futbolmas. A special thanks to my family and friends who’ve supported us during this event.
One of our highlights was when the Ministry of Environment and Forestry Cabinet Secretary Mr. Keriako Tobiko, visited our stand to know more about our initiative. Effue and I took the opportunity to explain our missions and visions on our different environmental initiatives.
Watamu Marine Association by Ecoworld Watamu were also among the vendors on environmental conservation at WWD 2021 presented by Steve Trott, Projects Manager at Watamu Marine Association. They also showcased their recycled items and missions in promoting both environmental health and community wealth. It was a pleasure finally meeting Steve.
We had great conversation on recycled waste and innovations; turning trash into cash. Find out more about Ecoworld Watamu in this blog post.
Neyshae was one of the youngest environmentalists to attend WWD 2021. We met her during mangrove planting. She also came to support us by purchasing a keychain. We thanked her with a Tiktok Dance she requested us to take part in as part of her content creation support.
More entertainment to appreciate talents was presented by Acrobats Group of Malindi.
Hippocampus and Progress Welfare Association of Malindi (PWAM), were awarded for best environmental initiatives in Kilifi County among other winners.
I joined the PWAM team in collecting the trophy in appreciation of our partnership working together during their monthly cleanups in Malindi, Malindi Green and Blue; Member of Trashion Kenya, PWAM Secretary, Ms. Effue Opiyo and Chairperson of Kenya Association of Women in Tourism (KAWT) and Progress Welfare Association of Malindi (PWAM), Mrs. Kate Mwikali. Well deserved!
WWD 2021 event ended with closing remarks from the Ministry of Environment and Forestry Cabinet Secretary Mr. Keriako Tobiko as he congratulated everyone for planting 100,000 mangroves including 17,000 mangroves planted during World Wetlands Day 2021. Finally, the 6th National Report for Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) Action Plan for Kenya 2019-2023 was officially launched.
Cheers to Sustainable Wetlands Peaches!
Website: TrashionKenya.Org to follow our social media platforms for updates and contacts.
Our partners, Futbolmas Kenya for more info.