We set sail from Lamu and onwards we go!
After 3 years of determination, resilience and passion from the plastic revolution community, we have set sail from our Kenyan home in Lamu and went on our way on our first overseas expedition towards Tanzania.
Our mission, as we meet directly with different communities in East Africa, is to bring people together, to share ideas, inspire and engage - we want people to see that reducing, reusing and recycling plastic is possible, and there are solutions all around us.
In Lamu we were blown away by the amount of people from the community and beyond that came to support the launch of the boat and took the opportunity to clean their beaches, display their own innovations.
Lamu is an amazing example of ‘harambee’, the Swahili word for community and collaboration – we had over 10 grassroots organizations come together for this event – youth initiatives, beach clean up groups, the elders, local government, Lamu marine conservation trust and many others demonstrating what can be achieved when community comes together and joins forces.
We were particularly inspired by the spirit of innovation within this community. Miniature sailing dhows that the children have been making from littered plastic bottles for years and race in is testimony to the spirit of creativity and recycling that is inherent of our culture.
The determination of the communities who want to address the menace of plastic pollution was evident, with one Lamu resident, Angelika who has been cleaning the beaches for years: sending her message to the community: “Our dream is to create the cleanest beaches in Kenya. Please take your rubbish away. Please leave nothing behind except your footprints”
We left Lamu in the early hours of the morning under fair winds and energized from our heartwarming send off to take the plastic revolution across the Indian ocean. Lamu is the home of the Flipflopi. Now we move onto Watamu where we will be hosted by Ecoworld Watamu, a great example of how “takataka” (rubbish) can be recycled and used to turn trash into cash for the community and used for sustainable business.
Lamu event by numbers:
Over 10 grassroots organizations involved in the event
2 beach clean ups conducted by the youths
1000s of littered plastic bottles used to create 15 plastic dhows that were entered in the dhow race
100s of discarded flipflops used to make the mini plastic dhows raced by the children
Over 35 tonnes of waste have been collected from Lamu, some of which was used to build the Flipflopi