Mombasa Mombasa! Could this be the start of Kenya’s m-taka revolution?
We arrived in Mombasa to a media frenzy and vibrant welcome in time for the official programme to begin. The positivity and engagement around this project was palpable.
The Mombasa event really represented a turning point in the history of The Flipflopi project – we were joined by so many key stakeholders who hold the keys to implement real change in the plastic revolution. Alongside UNEP, we were joined by national and county government key policy makers for the environment, the private sector, conservationists and plastic and environment bodies like PETCO and NEMA. This was a momentous occasion – building an alliance to make real commitments for real change in Kenya and beyond.
Here we heard real pledges for continual support for the Flipflopi long term goals and commitment to activate real change at policy level. We look forward to making these pledges a reality. Here are some of the key statements from the Mombasa event, to name just a few.
“We’re here to celebrate the growing awareness around plastic litter and how it affects lives and livelihoods and communities on the ocean. We’re also here to celebrate local indigenous know how and innovation. Flipflopi has put Kenya on the world map – this is made in Kenya and it’s a world’s first. And I know and hope soon that others will copy.”
“We’re seeing plastic getting new, valuable life…We’re celebrating Kenya’s key innovation: a boat made exclusively from plastic”
“Africa can be at the forefront of climate change innovation”
UN Environment: waste management vision
“Our vision is extending regular and reliable waste collection services to all. Safe disposal of waste while maximising the recovery of secondary resources for these waste streams through social and technological innovations appropriate for Africa”
“Lessons have been learned. We are here for the long haul to partner with The Flipflopi to continue this incredible work”
We are really proud of the engagement and traction this project is attracting – this has always been our aim: to create public discussion and bring policy makers, and the private sector together to take ownership of this issue.
Our partner UNEP have made this a possibility and we are so thankful for their support and all our key partners along the way. The future is all about going bigger and spreading the message around Africa and to the rest of the world. As one spokesperson from UNEP put it:
“We want to see this sail across the world. It’s a beautiful story and now this has to live beyond Zanzibar”
2 days after Mombasa…we’re gaining ground
We are so excited by the news that the Mombasa event resulted in direct impact on the tourism industry with the announcement that 17 hotels on the coast have now banned the use of plastic bottles and straws including the large hotel resorts Tamarind and Serena Inn Group.
The UNEP Clean Seas initiative strapline is to ‘turn the tide on plastic’ and that is what we believe we have contributed to in Mombasa. We have a lot to be grateful for - with associations like PETCO, the industry is starting to take responsibility for their plastic waste – we hope and dream that now more stakeholders come together at all levels of government and business to catalyse what we believe could become Kenya’s m-taka revolution.
Mombasa in numbers:
700 people attended the event
17 hotels banned single-use plastic bottles and straws as a result
10 VIPs/dignitaries attended including:
· Governor Mombasa County
· PS representing the Cabinet secretary Environment and Forestry
· Director General KWS
· Representative Clean Up Kenya
· Director and Regional Representative, UN environment
· PS State Department for Maritime and Shipping Affairs
· Waste Management Outlook: UN Environment
9 organisations on the steering committee
· Kenya Conservation of Aquatic Resources
· Kenya Wildlife Service
· ICC Kenya Chapter
· KECOBE Kenya coast Blue Economy
· Senators office Mombasa county
· KMFRI Marine debris volunteer project
· Wildlife clubs of Kenya
· Kenya association of hotel keepers and caterers