Written by Caroline Kibii
Cleanup in Naretunoi Conservancy
Pollution in protected areas is a major problem threatening the prosperity of biodiversity. The challenge intensifies in areas where heavy human traffic is witnessed. It is worse during this era of a global pandemic that has grounded many to domestic tourism.
Judging from a cleanup exercise at Naretunoi Conservancy in early November 2020, some tourists and explorers dispose of their wastes irresponsibly.
The cleanup activity was spearheaded by the Young Muslim Association and The Wildlife Foundation and attracted members of various organizations like Friends of Nairobi National Park, Kean, Enviro wild, and Sisters of YMA.
A considerable percentage of the waste collected was single-use in nature, such as plastic water and soda bottles, alcohol cans, and sweet and crisps wrappings. Most of these wastes were found dumped along the walking trails, an indication that the users intentionally disposed of there.
Similarly, a lot of solid waste was deposited along the river banks, indicating that they might have travelled from far.
While cleanup activities are integral to keeping protected areas clean, they are not sustainable in the long run. Therefore, it is important to strengthen awareness on the dangers of poor waste disposal, potential harm occasioned by single-use plastics to marine ecology and wildlife, and strict implementation of the existing policies.
Developing a positive attitude towards conservation will help reduce the usage and poor disposal of single-use plastics.
Rescued Baby Zebra
Towards the end of the day’s activities, a stranded baby zebra was rescued with the help of the area chief, The Wildlife Foundation Center, and KWS rangers present. It was not immediately established why the baby zebra was alone for many hours.