By Nelson Mapesa
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), an estimated 92% of the world’s population lives in areas where air pollution exceeds safety limits. It is also believed that air pollution costs Global economy $5 trillion every year in welfare costs. Further approximately 7 million people worldwide die prematurely each year from air pollution.
Therefore air pollution is a visible problem in Kenya and as a result, National Environment Trust Fund joined the rest of the World during World Environment Day (WED) 2019 Celebrations at the Railway Training Institute in Nairobi to encourage worldwide awareness and action to protect the environment.
Since it began in 1974, World Environment Day has been termed the “people’s day” for doing something to take care of the Earth. That “something” can be local, national or global. It can be a solo action or involve a crowd. Everyone is free to choose.
This year, the theme of ‘’Air pollution A ‘silent killer,’’ with the slogan of Clean Air our Responsibility (“Hewa Safi Jukumu Letu”) called upon all Kenyans to get involved in various activities to mark the day. The activities involved online art competition for schools, Tree planting, Panel discussions, Exhibitions and Clean-up exercise across the country.
The event was dignified by the County Government of Nairobi, the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, National Environmental Management Authority, National Environment Trust Fund, several other government agencies as well as the private sector organization
While marking the world environmental day on Wednesday, the county governor of Nairobi Hon Mike Sonko called on national environmental bodies to come with new strategies to combat garbage pollution in the capital.
Ahead of the WED 2019 celebrations, NETFUND donated 35,000 tree seedlings which were distributed among 10 schools across Siaya County. Siaya County has the least forest cover in Kenya at 0.41%. Similarly NETFUND showcased to the public some of the innovative energy solutions including renewable and, alternative energy innovations, energy conservation and efficiency as key to reducing air pollution especially among the households.