Countries around Lake Victoria uniting to see end of single-use

10Apr 2021
The Guardian Reporter
Dar es Salaam
The Guardian
Countries around Lake Victoria uniting to see end of single-use

THE Environmental Management and Economic Development Organisation (EMEDO) have called upon countries sharing Lake Victoria to unite towards bringing to an end the use of single-use plastics.

Tanzania is the latest country in East Africa to ban the manufacture and use of plastic carrier bags to tackle the rising tide of pollution.

The Flipflopi—the world’s first sailing dhow made entirely from waste-plastic and discarded flip-flops has just completed an historic four week expedition circumnavigating Lake Victoria, aimed to bring to Tanzania its plastic-reuse revolution campaign.

The new campaign is expected to unite business leaders, policy-makers and communities to call for an end to further unnecessary single use plastics.

EMEDO Executive Director, Editrudith Lukanga said: “Plastic pollution and waste do not respect borders and are destroying lives and livelihoods. Wherever you live around the lake, we can all play our role to reduce the plastic we throw away, and re-purpose it to bring value to our communities, and save Lake Victoria for future generations.”

Lukanga said that partnering with the global Clean Seas Campaign, the collective mission is to urgently tackle marine litter and plastic pollution, highlighting its alarming impact on oceans and freshwater ecosystems and initiate a dialogue between the lakeside community, Mwanza regional administration and strategic partners to discuss the problems of plastic pollution, the effects on the biodiversity of the lake and the health of the communities around it.

Lake Victoria supports more than 40 million people and is under increased pressure from the effects of climate change and pollution, which threatens health and livelihoods.

A recent study from Mwanza estimates that 1 in 5 fish in Lake Victoria had ingested plastic.

The Flipflopi - built entirely from waste plastic from beaches - shows the world that single use plastic does not make sense.

In Mwanza on April 9th, the Flipflopi will lead a local and virtual programme of events in collaboration with Mwanza city council and a diverse range of local and international partners.

The event will engage audiences through art and innovation activities, including workshops, art installations, and setting up plastic waste recycling centres to serve the citizens of the lake.

Key stakeholders and officials in the lake region will be brought together to discuss what can be done to beat plastic pollution.

In four week, Flipflopi sailed around Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania to call on countries and communities to recognize the magnitude of plastic pollution, to consider alternate options, and to work cooperatively to turn the tide on plastic.

Flipflopi’s visit has also inspired virtual webinars featuring youth and civil society, policy makers and the private sector, and a radio campaign on reusing plastic day-to-day.

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