Since 2013, one James Wakibia has been lobbying for banning the of plastic bags. Today 28th August 2017, as the Kenyan Government officially enforces the ban, Wakibia sees it as the best day to also officially close his four-year campaign.
“Today I officially close the #BanPlasticsKE and #IsupportBanPlasticsKE online and on the streets campaigns since the government of Kenya has successfully banned the manufacture, importation and use of single use plastic bags,” says an elated Wakibia.
“However, I am a bit disappointed though that plastic bags used for primary packaging have been exempted while truly there is availability of eco-friendly alternatives,” adds Wakibia expressing his disappointment that primary packaging plastic bags have been exempted from the ban.
He urges that in future, the government through the ministry of Environment, National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) and all stakeholders should completely phase out all plastic bags, disposable plastic utensils and straws that have been exempted in this Ban.
“Let’s completely keep our environment free from these dangerous non-biodegradable items that are destroying our environment,” urges Wakibia.
The journey however has not been easy for Wakibia. He has been mocked and discouraged but he stood strong and he especially thanks his friends who have stood with him in the challenging endeavour.
“I take this opportunity to give a special thanks to my wife Isa Wangari for motivating me to move on despite sometimes spending countless hours on the computer, thanks for supporting me,” says James Wakibia who admits to sometimes spending endless hours overnight on the computer researching and running online campaigns.
“I also take this time to give special thanks to a team that worked with me tirelessly online and on the ground in the streets of Nakuru to ensure that everybody all over Kenya learned about the campaign. Thanks also to all that made themselves available for #IsupportBanPlasticsKe Photo projects,” said Wakibia.
The campaign would not have been a success without journalists who gave him coverage thus publicising his efforts as he set out to show the negative effects of the plastics. Wakibia who is a trained journalist himself is sends his heartfelt gratitude to all the local and international Journalists and bloggers who highlighted his work and who continually reported about the environment.
“Much thanks too to all Environmental and human right activists who invited me to share about my campaigns, I say THANK YOU,” says a humble James Wakibia.
“Last and not least I would never forget to thank my graphic designer Edd Mayaka who did all #BanPlasticsKE and #IsupportBanPlasticsKE campaign graphics for free whenever I requested, God bless you,” closes Wakibia who is a professional photographer.