World Environment Day commemorated every year on June 5th offers a moment of reflection on how actions affect climate change, the natural world, and their own health. “Solutions to Plastic Pollution” was the theme for World Environment Day 2023, in which the Inter-Religious Council of Kenya (IRCK) called upon faith communities to raise awareness on refusing, reusing and recycling plastic products.
The beautiful region of Kwale County took centre stage in hosting a remarkable event that brought together various stakeholders to address pressing environmental issues. In collaboration with Mensen met een Missie through the JISRA project, the Inter-Religious Council of Kenya (IRCK) and the Kenya Community Support Centre (KECOSCE), this year’s World Environment Day celebrations aimed to raise awareness, foster sustainable practices, and inspire action for a greener future.
One of the key aspects of the World Environment Day event in Kwale County was to emphasize the importance of environmental education. Interactive sessions were conducted to educate the local communities about sustainable practices and the consequences of environmental degradation. Members provided valuable insights on topics such as waste management, biodiversity conservation, and climate change.
“The youth have a role to play in ensuring that our environment is conserved and protected for the next generation. In our own spaces and platforms, we need to call for the minimization of waste. Where waste cannot be avoided, let us recycle waste into usable products” – Mohamed Ratili, Kwale Interfaith Network.
In any conversation on the environment and its conservation, we cannot omit tree-planting drives, as they play a vital role in mitigating climate change and preserving the ecosystem. In Kwale County, a massive tree plantation drive was organized in collaboration with local communities, religious institutions, and governmental bodies. Trees were planted at Tiwi Rural Hospital in Kwale County aiming to increase green cover, combat deforestation, and restore the region’s natural beauty.
Clean-up Campaigns were also carried out to address the issue of pollution. Volunteers from the local community, religious groups, and environmental organizations joined forces and committed to removing waste from beaches, rivers, and other public areas. These efforts were aimed at promoting cleanliness, preventing environmental degradation, and raising awareness about the importance of responsible waste management.
Recognizing the significance of sustainable agriculture in ensuring food security and protecting the environment, the World Environment Day event in Kwale County highlighted various sustainable farming practices. Farmers were encouraged to adopt organic farming methods, agroforestry, and water conservation techniques. Additionally, the local community members were encouraged to adopt renewable energy sources in agriculture, such as solar-powered irrigation systems.
The success of the World Environment Day event in Kwale County was largely due to the collaboration between the Inter-Religious Council of Kenya and the Kenya Community Support Centre.
“By bringing together religious leaders, community members, and environmental experts, such events will foster a sense of unity and collective responsibility towards environmental conservation. As the youth we commit to enhance and strengthen such collaborations as they are essential in addressing complex environmental challenges and developing sustainable solutions.” – Brilliant Kahindi, interfaith youth
The World Environment Day 2023 celebrations held in Kwale County, in collaboration with the Inter-Religious Council of Kenya and the Kenya Community Support Centre, served as a remarkable platform to promote environmental awareness and sustainability. Through various initiatives such as tree planting, the event inspired individuals and communities to take concrete actions towards a greener future. The collective efforts showcased during this event set a powerful precedent for other regions and communities to follow, demonstrating that collaboration and community engagement are key to achieving environmental sustainability.
By: Janet Mwende