Tourists flock cleaner Lamu beaches after plastic bags ban

Sarova whitesands Beach Resort & Spa staff collect plastic trash on the beach during the sub-international coastal clean up 2017 exercise organized by the Kenya Conservation Aquatic Resources. Photo/Courtesy
Sarova whitesands Beach Resort & Spa staff collect plastic trash on the beach during the sub-international coastal clean up 2017 exercise organized by the Kenya Conservation Aquatic Resources. Photo/Courtesy

The number of tourists visiting Lamu have increased after the government banned plastics. Tourists now enjoy the clean and garbage-free beaches, Lamu Tourism executive Dismas Mwasambu said on Friday.

Famous beach towns in Lamu are Shella, Wiyoni, Matondoni, Kipungani, Kiwayu and Mkokoni. They previously had become uncomfortable for tourists owing to garbage, especially plastic waste, which would wash ashore. Mwasambu said less garbage finds its way to the beaches. The ban was imposed on August 28, 2017, by the National Environmental Management Authority to ensure a safer and cleaner environment.

Mwasambu said the ban also made it easy for the county government to enforce beach cleaning programmes. He said the large number of tourists flocking the beach towns this year alone is promising. “We wouldn’t have achieved this level of beach hygiene if the plastic ban wasn’t enforced. Things are looking good for the tourism sector,” Mwasambu said. He urged the government to extend the ban to plastic straws, which he said have become a menace. Lamu assistant county commissioner Phillip Oloo said there is a positive reception to the plastic ban in Lamu.