Lake Victoria is the biggest fresh water lake in Africa, with more than 40 million living around Its shores. The lake, divided between Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania, employs 200,000 people and is the source of 1 million tons of fish per year. But due to the dense population around it, Lake Victoria suffers from pollution and consequently a heavy decrease in diversity. Sewage and chemical products are directly is discharged into the lake, and a great part of the local waste ends up there.
Many of the inlets into the lake are blocked by plastic waste and prevent fresh water from entering it. This is not only a threat for the flora and fauna, but also for the local residents, as the pollution can bear severe health risks.
The problems of plastic pollution do not only concern the basin of Lake Victoria, but are present all over the world. It is estimated that 8 million tons of plastic waste end up in the oceans every year and 90% of it come from ten major rivers, which the Nile – one of its origins being Lake Victoria – is part of.
What can you do to contribute to cleaner lakes, rivers and oceans – or just a cleaner environment? Start a local Cleanup!
Cleanups are events where a group of people frees the environment of waste items that threaten our nature, the animals that live in it and the human population. A Cleanup can be as simple as a walk on the lake shore with the objective of gathering the plastic laying around – but it can also be a major event with many participants and the attention of local media. It’s a great way to get your community involved in environmental protection and create awareness of the damage made by plastic waste. What you need to consider in advance of organizing a clean-up:
- Identify the areas with necessity to be cleaned, check accessibility and safety
- Be sure to check with local authorities in case there are any restrictions
- Share the event on social media, talk to local newspapers and spread the word in your community to gather as many participants as possible. Don’t forget to contact local environmental groups as well.
- Check in advance where you can dump the collected waste and make sure to recycle what you can!
- Think of waste bags, gloves and other supplies.
- Bring water and music to make sure of everybody’s well-being.
- Bring a camera to share your success on social media afterwards!
Have fun cleaning our nature!