The seventh annual Mazingira challenge 2019/2020 was launched at Kenyatta University with the first event taking place at the Business Centre of Kenyatta University. Over 1000 students attended the glamorous event that raises environmental awareness and seeks to create a movement across universities to take lead and conserve the environment.
Officially flagged by the Dean of the school of Environment through Mr. Opinde who opening the event. In his speech he challenged universities to take lead environmental innovations and come up with solutions that solve current climate change issues facing the country.
Mazingira Challenge being an annual event that first rolled out in 2012, has been creating a major innovation and quiz challenge initiatives across many universities in Kenya. Speaking during the event, Mr. Ikreet representing PET and Coca-Cola showcased how they are turning ‘trash into cash” through recycling of PET plastics to make T-shirts that are used in football and sports in Kenya.
Themed ‘Harnessing youth innovation potential for sustainability’, the project gives the youth, who are passionate about making a difference and are creative enough to develop these solutions, a platform to showcase their innovations and knowledge about the environment for a chance to win and start life changing experience in environmental conservation .
“Creating an environment free of waste and security the planet for humanity is our priority” Mr. Koech of Safaricom said.
Different speakers lauded the initiative as the unique opportunity that universities have in connecting the academician to the community and having them pro-actively come up with social and scientific innovations that can solve current problems the country is facing
Head of programmes Ms. Faith Chelangat challenged partners to come on board and create a youth movement that is dedicated to creating tangible solutions for this country and fast tracking the achievements of Sustainable Development Goals.
She said “We now officially launch our Campus caravan that will go to all universities in Kenya, urging them to start innovating and creating environmental solutions and working closely with communities around them to enhance the agenda of conservation”
She added that Kenyatta University had the opportunity to be the launching platform for the different initiatives by Mazingira Challenge.
In partnership with Coca-Cola, #trashforcash- the Plastic Recycling Initiative was launched. This introduces the first of its kind initiative that will give students an opportunity to earn for Trash. Other initiatives included tree planting to increase forest cover in partnership with the Kenya Forest Service.
The initiative will hold a National event after successful campus tour caravan that will see students innovations showcased and finalists of quiz challenge from each University meet at what is dubbed as the ‘ Great challenge” in 2020 with over 35 universities expected to compete. With this nature of caravans, it’s expected that, for the first time, academic institutions will take pro-active role in ensuring that the country has home grown innovations and solutions that will save our environment.