- Poor waste management practices in Lamu have been, however, blamed for the challenge of solid waste management.
- Environmentalists have raised concern about a trend where islanders deliberately drop garbage anywhere along the streets.
Lamu Governor Issa Timamy has warned hotel and business owners in the archipelago against the careless disposal of plastic and solid waste from their premises into the Indian Ocean.
For the longest time, there has been rising concern over the reckless disposal of plastic waste from hotels in the various islands, which has mostly ended up in the Indian Ocean and on the beaches in the county.
Conservationists and environmentalists have put to task hotel and business owners in major islands in the region, especially those whose establishments border the Indian Ocean.
These include those in Lamu Island, Ras Kitau, Shella, Manda-Toto, Matondoni, Kipungani, Kiwayu, Mkokoni, Ndau, Faza, Kizingitini and Kiunga.
These establishments are said to be dumping waste from their areas directly into the Indian Ocean just meters away.
The dumping is believed to take place during the nights when the county enforcement officers have long retreated to their homes for the day.
Speaking in his office in Mokowe town in Lamu West, Timamy said his office is partnering with the National Environment Management Authority to ensure existing laws are implemented so as to avert further degradation of environmental harm.
The county government continues to undertake clean-up exercises of beaches and dumpsite in the region as part of campaigns to eliminate environmental pollution.
“Dumping garbage in the ocean as we all know by know, directly affects the marine environment and marine life. We are not going to be kind to people who know these consequences but still insist on doing it. Responsibility starts with all of us,” Timamy said.
The governor warned of strict action against all those whose establishments will be found culpable of disposing waste into the ocean, directly or indirectly.
“That is the highest form of recklessness. We are partnering with Nema to see an end to such and will definitely not allow people to water down our efforts.”
Poor waste management practices in Lamu have been, however, blamed for the challenge of solid waste management.
According to environmentalist Shekuwe Ali of the Lamu Environment Action Group for Transformation Change, the current waste disposal regulations pay no regard to environmental conservation.
He urged the county government to formulate policies that will help curtail the reckless disposal of any form of waste material into the ocean or beaches in Lamu.
Environmentalists have also raised concern about a trend where islanders deliberately drop garbage anywhere along the streets despite there being designated bins and areas for the same.
“Lamu island residents are especially notorious for this yet there are bins and dumping areas all over. We need regulations to have such deliberate acts of reckless dumping punished so that people get to learn the hard way,” Shekuwe said.