By Ian Kiptoo
Mombasa’s stunning coastline, a gem in Kenya’s blue economy, has been the focus of diligent care and preservation efforts.
The second day of the Blue Economy Innovation and Investment Summit brought together many dedicated individuals with a shared purpose: cleaning and conserving this vital coastal environment.
The beach cleanup served as a testament to the commitment of various stakeholders, including Baus Taka, Sote Hub, and the County Government of Mombasa, in safeguarding the ocean and its ecosystems.
At the event, where 404 kgs of plastic waste were collected, Emily Achieng, the CECM – Water, Natural Resources and Climate Change Resilience, highlighted the importance of beach cleaning.
“By cleaning our beach, we not only protect our coastline but also save our coral reefs, which are severely affected by plastic pollution. The county government is committed to developing a regular schedule and supporting frequent beach cleaning activities,” she said.
In addition to conservation efforts, the event promoted eco-friendly transportation, with a focus on cycling.
With concerns about carbon emissions and climate change on the rise, transitioning to non-motorized transportation like cycling plays a crucial role in reducing our carbon footprint.
Participants pedaled along coastal roads, relishing the sea breeze and firsthand experience of the charm of biking.
Jonathan Alai of “Bike is Best,” an organization advocating for biking as an alternative means of transportation, urged participants to consider biking for work, running errands, or simply for fun, particularly for distances of less than 5km.
This, according to Alai, is both eco-friendly and healthy for the environment.
The Mombasa Walk Movement, led by Major Idris, joined hands with the initiative, showcasing the power of unity in pursuing a cleaner, more sustainable coastline.
Known for advocating walking as a health practice, the Mombasa Walk Movement also engages in environmental campaigns to promote a healthier planet.
“Our mission is to lead a healthy life, which also means having a healthy environment to reside in. We were honored to partner with Sote Hub for this campaign,” Major Idris said
The County Government of Mombasa and its partners played a pivotal role in coordinating this significant cleanup operation.
The presence of government representatives underscored the local authorities’ dedication to conserving their most valuable asset – the coastal environment.
Mr. Mohamed Osman, the CECM for Tourism, Culture, and Trade in Mombasa County, said he was pleased to see youth involvement in beach cleaning activities.
He added: “We aim to position the port city as a reputable tourist attraction, particularly as we approach the upcoming tourism summit.”
The Blue Economy represents the sustainable utilization of ocean resources while preserving the health of marine ecosystems.
Events like the Blue Economy and Investment Summit underpin the interconnectedness of economic development, environmental conservation, and human well-being.
Healthy oceans support fisheries, tourism, transport, and more, making the blue economy central to Kenya’s growth and development.
Beach cleanups are integral to the blue economy, as they protect the coastal environment and its biodiversity.
Pristine beaches and clean waters attract tourists, creating economic opportunities for local communities.
Additionally, a clean coastline supports sustainable fishing practices, which are integral to the livelihoods of many residents.
Mombasa’s future is closely tied to its coastline and the responsible utilization of its resources. By embracing alternatives like biking, participating in beach cleanups, and fostering collaboration among various stakeholders, the community is taking vital steps toward a brighter, more sustainable future.
This event exemplified the power of individual actions, community involvement, and government support in creating a harmonious balance between economic growth and environmental conservation in the blue economy.