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PROJECT CLEAN IT UP AND KEEP IT CLEAN: ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION THROUGH WASTE MANAGEMENT

Authors:     

Odile Oluoch 20, BSc. Environmental Conservation University of Nairobi. City of origin: Nairobi, Kenya. Mariam Njeru 19, BSc. Mechanical Engineering University of Nairobi. City of Origin: Nairobi, Kenya. Wendy Echessah 19, BSc. Geospatial Engineering University of Nairobi. City of origin Nairobi, Kenya. Florah Merlyne 23, BSc Mechatronics Engineering Jomo Kenyatta University. City of origin: Nairobi, Kenya. Christine Nduta Mwangi 19, Diploma BTEC Art, Brookhouse. City of Origin: Nairobi.

Supervisor: Dr Beatrice Khayota, PhD Botany Co-supervisor: Ana Perez Camacho, Educationalist Table of Contents


Authors:........................................................................................................................................1 Abstract........................................................................................................................................3 Introduction.................................................................................................................................3 Problem Statement......................................................................................................................3 Project Objectives:..............................................................................................................................4 Assumptions:.......................................................................................................................................5

Project Implementation..............................................................................................................5 Phase 1: Educational programme.......................................................................................................5 Phase 2: Clean up................................................................................................................................6

Expected Outcomes.....................................................................................................................7 What has been done so far:.........................................................................................................7 What is yet to be done.................................................................................................................7 Operational indicators................................................................................................................8 References.....................................................................................................................................9 Project Budget............................................................................................................................10

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Abstract The ongoing Project “Clean It Up & Keep It Clean” was initiated by a group of students mainly from the University of Nairobi in response to the UNIV Congress Theme of 2018: Rethinking the Future. The group, in collaboration with Fanusi Study Centre that promotes the all - round formation of university ladies, initiated this project with the aim of setting up a comprehensive interactive education programme for children, to promote clean - up activities within the university environs and beyond and come up with effective management of the waste by using the 3R model of Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. The group has already launched the pilot programme for education and has organized a clean - up in conjunction with the University of Nairobi Chiromo Environmental Awareness Club (CEAC Kenya). Various companies are being approached for funding for the garbage bins and for printing of the educational material for the children as we hope to roll-out the programme to different schools in Nairobi and if possible to the entire country. Introduction The environment is an integral part of human survival. A clean environment promotes the wellbeing of a community and secures its future. Waste management are all activities pertaining to dealing with waste products from their inception up to where they are disposed. Poor waste management leads to pollution, environmental degradation as well as posing health risks to community members.(3) Waste management has been an issue in Kenya for quite some time especially in urban centres where the population is large. The major urban cities include Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu where tonnes and tonnes of waste are produced daily by the population, yet less than half of the waste reaches the dumpsites with the rest unaccounted for. A major part of the waste that is unaccounted for ends up on the streets, rivers or it is collected and burned in open air. People know that the environment plays a role in sustaining life but it is highly doubtful that they are aware of its degree of importance in terms of ecosystem services it provides. Citizens are well versed the theory compared to practice when it comes to environmental conservation. More often than not, issues to do with the environment are paid lip service and the inertia of the environment’s state fuels it. Problem Statement Land pollution has been a major issue in the country caused by poor methods of waste disposal. The Kenyan government recently banned the use of plastic carrier bags and flat bags, an action that is long overdue for those concerned with the environment. To the disappointment of most, the streets and alleys are still sordid. It is now even clearer that the issue does not lie with what type of waste is being disposed but with the sensitivity of the citizens to the environment around them. Despite there being a number of bins within the city and the county government's effort to clear the streets, solid waste in the form of plastic, paper, glass, organics and others still dominate. The waste that is disposed is dumped in landfills, such as the Dandora dumpsite, where 1500 tonnes of plastic (that’s only 38 percent of the waste disposed), ends up daily.(4)(5) The waste ends up in public places and residential areas (pedestrian paths, markets, drainages etc.) and in natural ecosystems such as the Nairobi River. This presents not only an environmental crisis, but also a health hazard to the residential community. The waste can be collected by recycling companies to supplement the city council’s efforts. However, in order for recycling to be efficient, it requires separation of waste at the source. Therefore, it begins with creating awareness to the public on the importance of proper waste management, as well as creating a sustainable means for them to dispose their rubbish.(3) Closer to home, Club 36 area used for cooking and selling food, is located in our vicinity and is 3


a source of most of the waste covering the area. The only difference from what is affecting Kenya as a nation, is t the willingness of residents to dispose the waste in the bins., t Unfortunately the garbage bins around the area are too small to effectively handle the rate of waste disposal from the population. Apart from that, the bins have not been strategically placed to ensure their maximum utilisation. Project Goal To rehabilitate urban areas affected by solid waste pollution due to littering, by creating awareness in the upcoming generations, and subsequently the adult public, on the necessity of proper and responsible waste management, the means to achieve it as an individual and as a community, the consequences of its absence, and its important role not only in maintaining the health and well-being of urban centre communities, but also in conserving the environment. Project Objectives: 1. To educate, sensitize, and instil habits pertaining to: the necessity, benefits, and consequences of the lack of environmental conservation (particularly as an individual, and in this case through waste management), in the upcoming generation, namely Primary School Children (between the ages of 10 - 13 years). Activities include; a. Coming up with an interactive education workshop/programme. The programme seeks to engage the children through interesting audio-visual aids and engaging, hands-on practical activities. It will also be simple and comprehensive enough to be used in any school across the country. b. Making an educational booklet to accompany the workshop. It will be a guide to trainers on the programme as well as a text book on the subject for the students. c. Future plans include creating a training programme to recruit more volunteers and reach more schools across Nairobi and the country. This shall initially be done within the Chiromo Environmental Awareness Club (CEAC Kenya) of the University of Nairobi. 2. To reduce incidences of littering in the Club 36, and its environs, by creating awareness among the children, the youth and the public on the necessity of managing waste in environmental conservation and sanitation of urban centres. Activities include: a. Launching the pilot of the education programme in the Nairobi Primary School, which is within the area affected by littering and poor waste management. This will sensitize the children, who are also users of the area. b. Arranging a clean-up of the area with the children to solidify the lessons taught in the programme, create awareness among the general public and sensitize passers-by and users of the market such as university students and office workers who go to Cub 36 for meals. 3. To set up a sustainable system of collecting, separating and disposing of the rubbish. Activities include: a. Installing more rubbish bins along the road, and in the marketplace. The bins will be designed as a set of three compartments for Plastic (the most common waste), Organic waste and Other to enable the separation of waste and its recycling, clearly labelled and with notices encouraging responsible disposal. The bins should also be permanently secured at their site for security, with a slot for retrieving the rubbish. b. Creating a partnership with a recycling company which will oversee collection of 4


the recyclable material, primarily plastic. This will mitigate the dumping of the rubbish, and increase sustainability of the project.

Assumptions: 1. The children have a foundational learning background (provided by the national education system) that is sufficient enough to comprehend the content of the educational program, e.g. Reading and Writing, and a basic understanding of the environment. 2. The members of the public have a basic understanding of waste management and environmental conservation; therefore, they only need to be sensitized on its importance, given the means to do so and encouraged to act on it. 3. The education program and its booklet will complement, and add new, practical content, to the revised Kenya national education curriculum (that is still in development by the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development).

Project Implementation Phase 1: Educational programme  Extensive research was done on environmental conservation, waste management, and the 3 Rs (Reduce, Reuse and Recycle) was done, and information relevant to the education programme was selected and paraphrased for Primary School children (ages 10 – 13 years) (1)(3). Information gathered needed to relate directly to the children and their daily lives, have a strong impact on their perception and understanding of environmental conservation, and the role each of them and their actions play in the environment. Activities directly related to the lessons taught were also chosen. Information was also gathered with the yet to be released revised national curriculum in mind. The curriculum is still under development by the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development, and does have a section dedicated to environment. But based on the few excerpts that have been released, our environmental education programme was then redesigned to add a more engaging and hands-on tone to supplement the curriculum’s mostly theoretical approach.  Young children were chosen as it is easiest to instil good habits in them, and they are the inheritors of the future environment. As future citizens and policy makers, the principles and perceptions that they develop now will affect their decisions and actions that they will use to shape their future, especially in how they will treat the environment.  The information gathered was compiled into an educational booklet: Clean It Up and Keep It Clean, A Guide to Managing Waste for Primary School Children. The booklet was designed to serve as a textbook for the children, with notes on each topic arranged in the structure of a children’s narrative, with examples relevant to them, plenty of visual aids, and an activity for every session. It was also a guide to the trainer, being easy to understand and take up with little background on environmental conservation, links to additional material(online), and clear instructions on how to carry out each activity. Link to the Educational booklet: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1SldfVcldh7Mavc2bDZlgGi8Hv5GG2E-RpuBddi3xS0/edit?usp=sharing  A letter was sent to the administration of Nairobi Primary school. Thereafter, we were invited on appointment in order to settle the dates for the sessions with the children. It 5


was agreed that three sessions were to be held every Monday afternoon from 2:30pm to 4:00pm, during the scheduled time for the environmental club meeting of the school. Few sessions were held, partly due to challenges arising from both the children and the volunteers (university students) having classes (among other commitments), with little free time shared between both groups for the program sessions. Their patroness Madame Rachael Gatugutah would avail herself and be present for all sessions offering support such as making sure the equipment for presentation was ready.  The sessions were run as agreed upon on Monday 22nd January, Monday 29th January and Monday 5th February. However, printed copies of the booklet were lacking, therefore the school projector was used to display the booklet to the children. This was accompanied by the additional content (such as videos). Each session had 30 minutes, where the theory was taught, followed by 60 minutes of the practical activity, undertaken by the students under supervision of the trainers. The material for the activities were gathered beforehand by both trainers (e.g. stationery, poster paper, wire) and students (e.g. old newspapers and old bottles). Phase 2: Clean up  A clean up was organized to emphasize the lessons taught to the children and to sensitize the public in the Club 36 area on proper and responsible waste management. The clean-up was undertaken in collaboration with the CEAC Kenya, which, apart from providing volunteers for the event, provided most of the equipment that was used and gave funds to cater for the refreshments and certificates of participation that were to be presented afterwards. The clean-up was an event for the club as well as the final part of the education project in Nairobi Primary. The children at Nairobi Primary made posters that were distributed in their school to support the cause.  Make-shift bins were made from reused, disposable plastic bottles to act as a symbol of the topic of the clean-up and the project, and to act as temporary bins for the plastic waste before permanent suitable bins were obtained. The bottles were sourced mainly from Strathmore University. A portion of the bins were made with the students of the education program as an activity. (This is shown in the video attached).  Local authorities of Club 36 were also informed about the clean up through drafting of letters. They gave their full support and even took part in the clean-up. Local recycling companies were contacted to determine whether it was possible to have them collect the solid waste after it was sorted. Unfortunately, a partnership is yet to be formed due to challenges in separating the waste (the current bins lack compartments for separation). 

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Expected Outcomes Implementation of the first phase of the project (Education in the primary school) with an emphasis on a hands-on approach, will complement the environmental aspects of the national curriculum in educating and sensitizing the upcoming generations on the importance of conserving the environment, instilling the habit of responsible waste management in the upcoming generations and will teach them methods of doing so. The second phase is expected to encourage members of the public to rethink before littering, and make a point of disposing their waste responsibly. The plastic-bottle-bins as a symbol of conservation, should encourage the public to take up the idea of reusing their waste to make something that can benefit them. The proper disposal and separation of waste will be enabled by the new bins and the issue of littering of waste will be curbed. What has been done so far: The pilot education programme in Nairobi Primary School has been launched.


The Clean-up of Club 36 area (and along Mamlaka and Dorobo road) in collaboration with the University of Nairobi’s environmental club (CEAC Kenya) was done.

What is yet to be done  Obtaining permanent bins for the area.  Printing copies of the booklet for the education program. We have approached several companies to fund setting up permanent bins and printing the educational booklets, but we have not received a positive response. However, the plastic-bottlebins have attracted the attention of the marketing department of Dasani (whose parent company is Coca Cola), because the bins were made from reused Dasani and Coca Cola soda bottles. They expressed interest in working with us.  Finalizing the partnership with the recycling company.  Obtaining more volunteers to reach more schools across the Nairobi city, and ultimately the country.

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Operational indicators  The level of response of the public to the awareness and sensitization efforts, to be measured by monitoring: if the provided bins are in use (or increased use), and the degree of littering in the target area after the education program and clean up, measured in relation to its initial state before the project was launched.  The level of response of the children to the programme, as indicated by level of engagement in the sessions and their activities (to be evaluated by interviewing the supervising teacher).  The number of schools where the education program will be successfully undertaken. Project Evaluation The project evaluation by Dr Beatrice Khayota  This is a commendable initiative that aims to address pertinent environmental issues, of major concern, both nationally and globally. The approach used is strategic, in that the target group are school children, in whom they seek to inculcate good environmental conservation practises. It is worth noting that the team first started by addressing waste management in the vicinity within their environs i.e. “charity begins at home”. Apart from raising awareness, they propose practical and innovative solutions to the problem of waste management.  It is highly recommended that such initiatives be facilitated financially and advocate for support from donors, National and County governments and Environmental conservation lead agencies. This will go a long way in supporting pilot projects, purchase/ development of dissemination materials, signage and outreach programs. It will also provide the state of the art waste bins.

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References 1. UNESCO-UNEP International Environmental Education Programme(IEEP), ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION ACTIVITIES FOR PRIMARY SCHOOLS, Suggestions for making and using low-cost equipment. Sourced from: http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0009/000963/096345eo.pdf

2. National Environment Management Authority(NEMA). FAQ on Plastic Bags Ban, (2018), Kenya. Sourced from: https://www.nema.go.ke/index.php? option=com_content&view=article&id=106&Itemid=120 3. Hyman, M., Turner, B., Carpintero, A. (2013). Guidelines for National Waste Management Strategies. United Nations Environment Programme(UNEP). Sourced from: http://cwm.unitar.org/nationalprofiles/publications/cw/wm/UNEP_UNITAR_NWMS_English.pdf 4. Barczak, P., Thumbi, G. (2015) Dandora Landfill in Nairobi, Kenya. Environmental Justice Atlas. Sourced From: https://ejatlas.org/conflict/dandora-landfill-in-nairobikenya 5. Kimani, G. N., De Jong, R., Akumu, J. (2007). Environmental Pollution and Impact to Public Health, Implication of the Dandora Municipal Dumping Site in Nairobi Kenya. The United Nations Environment Programme(UNEP). Sourced from: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B86QG37YiJcMZGZpN3B1RWlHWUdaOGJ3MmNU czdxWThzU2Y0/view?usp=sharing from : https://ejatlas.org/conflict/dandora-landfillin-nairobi-kenya

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Project Budget Cost per unit

Item Items for Clean up:

Units

Rubbish bins

45 (15 sets of 3)

6500

Total cost(Kshs.) 292, 500

Clean up equipment

10000

Material for Educational Programme Stationery

5000

Educational booklets

500

550

275,000 Total(Kshs.): 582,500 Total(Euro): 4,700

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Best Social Project (segundo premio): Care of the environment through waste management  

Christine Mwangi, Mariam Njeru, Florah Merlyn Kenya

Best Social Project (segundo premio): Care of the environment through waste management  

Christine Mwangi, Mariam Njeru, Florah Merlyn Kenya

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