M-Taka, an innovative mobile application, steps into the spotlight in the battle against mounting plastic waste which is currently under intense scrutiny for its devastating impact on the environment. This pioneering solution has been launched in the bustling city of Kisumu, Kenya, situated on the shores of Lake Victoria. The app aims to aid local residents in the effective management of their plastic waste. Given the increasing accumulation of plastic debris in the city, a major source of contamination for Lake Victoria, the introduction of M-Taka is both an immediate and groundbreaking response to this environmental challenge.
Given the escalating state of plastic waste inundating the city, the introduction of M-Taka comes as a breath of fresh air, underlining the imperative role of technology in addressing environmental concerns. The Managing Director of Taka, Benson Abila, proudly labels M-Taka as an unprecedented initiative in Western Kenya. According to him, the mobile application will empower locals by allowing them to enlist themselves for localized waste management services.
“The primary objective of M-Taka is to bridge the chasm in the accessibility of recycling services,” said Abila, emphasizing the core purpose of the app. To facilitate this initiative, the organization plans to establish representative agents across the city, ensuring a broad reach to residents willing to contribute their plastic waste to the recycling process.
During the celebration of World Environment Day in Kisumu, Abila highlighted a concerning fact: a mere 8 percent of the country’s plastic waste is currently being recycled. Despite the low recycling percentage, Abila remains optimistic about their initiative’s potential to significantly boost this figure. “We have set our sights on achieving 100 percent recycling and are dedicated to educating our fellow residents about the urgency of eliminating plastic waste from our environment,” he stated emphatically. He strongly believes that transforming attitudes and cultivating a culture of recycling will play a pivotal role in achieving this ambitious goal.
Nyanza’s regional director for the National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA), Stela Kamwasir, has hailed M-Taka’s innovative approach as a potent strategy to prevent plastic bottles from entering Lake Victoria. “We deeply appreciate M-Taka for spearheading this unique initiative which has created a vital link between the producers of waste and those who are recycling it,” she applauded.
Kamwasir further emphasized the need for extensive public awareness campaigns, encouraging locals to abandon their current practice of indiscriminate plastic disposal. Instead, she urged them to adopt habits that prevent plastic materials from re-entering the environment in a harmful manner.
The urgency of tackling plastic pollution in the region is underscored by recent studies revealing the presence of microplastics in fish samples from Winam Gulf. In 2017, the government introduced a gradual ban on plastics, extending the prohibition to single-use plastics in protected areas. The launch of M-Taka is a testament to the continued efforts to combat plastic pollution and offers a beacon of hope in the pursuit of a cleaner, greener environment.