ON September 19th, this year Tanzania joined some 179 countries across the globe to mark the World Cleanup Day, stressing that the day is part of its Let’s Do It Tanzania.
According to the country’s Nipe Fagio, a non-governmental organisation that works with communities, the private sector and the government to achieve sustainable development in the waste management sector, the campaign was successfully managed.
When releasing the 2020 World Cleanup Day report in Dar es Salaam yesterday, Nipe Fagio Executive Director, Ms. Ana Le Rocha, thanked the local organisations, community members, and all the participants that collaborated with them to make this year’s celebration a success.
“As we are releasing this year’s World Cleanup Day report, we would, first, like to thank all the local organizations, community members and individuals who joined hands with us and made this event a success,” she said, while noting that over 250 local organisations, and 4,621 individuals participated in the cleanup activities across the country.
To make this year’s celebration even more exciting, the philanthropic organization launched a campaign called ‘Plastiki Yako Mazingira Yetu,’ which loosely translates as ‘Your Plastic Our Environment,’ as a move that brings people and organisations together to support local governments on the restrictions to single-use plastic production and consumption in the country.
“We recognize and support the outstanding effort that the Tanzanian government has made developing and implementing the plastic bag ban, and we are very proud of living in a country that has taken tangible action to address plastic polluting our environment.
“Therefore, the introduction of the Plastiki Yako Mazingira Yetu campaign will help in pushing for single-use plastic to be replaced with sustainable product delivery systems to ensure that people, profit, and planet are in balance,” she pointed out.
She further said that as of October 10th, nearly 70 organisations had submitted their logos and more than 100 individuals had signed the form to support the Plastiki Yako Mazingira Yetu campaign.
“As we are still pushing for more support, I call upon those organisations which have not submitted their logos to do so through the link http://bit.ly/nflogoplastikiyakomazingirayetu and/or sign the Google form through http://bit.ly/nfsignplastikiyakomazingirayetu,” she added.
Single-use plastic, with special emphasis on plastic bags, sachets, and coloured pet bottles, create an increased hazard to the communities and the environment of Tanzania.
The indiscriminate production of single-use plastic to wrap fast-consuming goods contributes to flooding, the climate emergency, and the strong presence of microplastics in our rivers and ocean.
Research says that 80 per cent of the plastics, which enter the Oceans, come from rivers and waterways and it has been proved that all samples of salt tested worldwide contain microplastics, meaning that human beings are now consuming microplastics, a hazardous substance, regularly.
The Executive Director further reiterated that this year cleanups were organized in 25 locations and 13 regions in the country, where 19 of the locations involved Waste Audits and brand Audits (WABA) being conducted to collect data on waste composition and brand contribution to plastic pollution.
“It’s a disappointing fact that after conducting the Waste and Brand Audit, we saw once again that 75 per cent of the waste collected is locally generated by Tanzanian companies and industries, especially plastic beverage bottles, plastic bottles caps, plastic sachets and even some plastic bags.
“It is also a great opportunity as we can, as a country to address this issue and come up with an effective solution by working together, private sector, government and civil society,” Ms Rocha added.
She further said that while being important players for economic growth, these companies have a lot of responsibilities, especially on addressing plastic pollution and therefore, she still hopes to find a mutually beneficial solution in which industries can produce without harming the environment and single-use plastics can be replaced with sustainable delivery systems.
In her further explanation, she noted that things in Tanzania are going well, because the public when well enlightened on the importance cleaning the environment and not polluting it, they become part and parcel of players in the cleaning exercise.
Earlier in its training on environment cleanliness, it conducted a training with its slogan of Nipe Fagio (give me the broom!), a based public advocacy organisation focused on increasing awareness, facilitating and promoting sustainable development initiatives in the country.
In practical work, in Dar es Salaam, it embarked on organizing community clean up and raising awareness about environmental issues both in schools and in local communities, where the trainees were organized an interactive two day seminar.
It was the first time for them to train people living and working far from Dar Es Salaam.
The main topics of the seminar were waste awareness; recycling, composting, behaviour changes and how to organize a successful community clean up.
During the training they had time for discussion and sharing of ideas with volunteers further helping to review concepts discussed during some home trainings in Pomerini and to get new information, especially about issues and waste management in Dar Es Salaam.
In the course, they had the chance to compare the waste management situation of Dar Es Salaam and the rural area of Kilolo District and to understand the difference between some key words like recycle and reuse.
As the seminar winded up, they ended up with the training visiting a lab, belonging to Africraft organization that produces handcrafts reusing many different materials such as glass bottles, old papers, cement bags, taps and so on.
“The training gave us some tips about how to approach the next step of the project that will involve five primary schools of Kilolo District.
It was also an important moment of discussion between our volunteers,” said one of the participants, who however, preferred to remain anonymous.