COASTAL areas deserve protection and conservation, especially the sandy beaches from pollution in order to attract more beach tourism in the country.
This is because coastal beaches in Tanzania and other parts of the world are prone to pollution from harmful substance ranging from plastics, litter, pesticides to oil spillage. It is further documented that large percentages of marine wastes come from onshore through rivers, drainages, and beaches.
It is estimated that each square kilometre of ocean contains 13,000 plastic pieces of waste material.
A recent study conducted by International Council of Beverages Associations (ICBA) found out presence of 15 million pieces of plastics waste in the ocean currently.
The Tanzania coastal beaches of Mtwara, Dar es Salaam, Bagamoyo, Tanga and Zanzibar coasts have much similar shape and conditions, considering human activities with improper plastic bottles disposal on their waterways.
If this situation is not addressed, it is estimated that by 2050 Oceans and Seas will have more plastic materials than fish.
“Such a situation and more information from environment related features, Coca-Cola Kwanza decided to act through a special campaign dubbed “Mchanga Pekee,” said Haji Ally Mzee, Coca-Cola Public Affairs and Communication Director.
This is a twelve months campaign designed, founded and organised by Coca-Cola Kwanza Company, a subsidiary of Coca-Cola Beverages Africa.
The campaign inception goes back to February last year, is focused on educating, training, engaging and influencing on plastic waste disposal within our communities through coastal cleanup, plastic bottles collection, recycling and plastic bottles disposal best practices in Tanzania.
The coastal clean-ups are done by engaging respective communities through imparting knowledge which keeps them in safe, sustainable and desirable habitat in an effort to free coastal sand from unnecessary plastic waste. In addition, plastic bottles collection is key to our environment safety and significantly preserves ecology of pre-existing environment.
The ‘Mchanga Pekee’ campaign is categorised into two main activities, both reflecting common goal of educating communities through engaging in preservation and conservation of environment.
The main tasks of the campaign are coastal clean-up and plastic bottles purchase for recycling purposes as well as enabling, encouraging and monitoring coastal clean-ups aligned with plastic bottles disposal best practices. It is also a platform to increase mass awareness over environment conservation best practices, particularly plastic waste and a reminder to community towards importance of environment conservation.
Mchanga Pekee Campaign has managed to recruit young, dynamic women in Coco Beach, tasked with cleanliness of the beach five times per week, eight hours per day from February 2019 to February 2020.
The campaign sees Coco beach cleaned up on every Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Upon the task, those women have been handled employment contracts, necessary tools, and environment education.
It’s through this campaign Coca-Cola Kwanza Company has managed to place almost 10 waste containers in different places across Coco Beach, with each container carrying crucial message to remind every citizen to properly dispose waste through it.
This activity is valid and successful resulting from prior memorandum of understanding between Coca-Cola Kwanza Company (through Mchanga Pekee Campaign) and the Government (through Kinondoni Municipal Council) pertaining to coastal clean-ups, taking Coco Beach as pilot case.
Through coastal cleaners team working, Mchanga Pekee Campaign has identified, through cleanup, high number of plastic bottles pieces out of disposed waste, others being safety pins, syringes, food wrappers, straws, plastic closures, plastic carrier bags as well as food crumbs.
It is undeniable truth that Mchanga Pekee campaign has managed to reach majority people in community manifesting its primary objective of educating community on coastal clean-up