Kenya’s Big Steps Towards Sustainable Development- Plastic Ban Says It All!

Kenya has been at the front of sustainable development efforts not only inside its borders but in East Africa as a whole. This is due to the realization that while striving to meet the needs and desires of the country’s people, Kenya found a need to protect the environment for a better future.

The main goal of the Kenyan government was to provide all its citizens with the opportunity to lead a high-quality life in a clean and safe environment, which is envisaged in the country’s main development plan, called Kenya Vision 2030. The Kenyan government places great importance on achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) and has made significant progress in completing these goals. 

Momentous progress has been made in access to primary education, reducing infant mortality, improving maternal health, and reducing extreme poverty

The sustainable development goals set out by the United Nations have been recognized by the Kenyan government as areas that need consideration and resolution in the country as a whole. The nation continues to experience high rates of poverty and inequality, and social challenges threaten social stability. 

The incorporation of these then leads to the development of ‘The Big 4 Agenda’. The agendas consist of enhancing health coverage, food security and nutrition, affordable housing and the enhancement of manufacturing. Working on these 4 agendas, the country aims to become more sustainable.

Before 2017, Kenya had annually tens of millions of plastic bags distributed in supermarkets, being harmful to the environment. Plastic pollutes the environment, blocking the drainage system and is a primary enabler of flooding during the rainy season. 

A study conducted by the National Environmental Management Agency (NEMA) found that more than 50% of cattle near urban areas had plastic bags in their stomachs, affecting the local food and agriculture. 

Therefore, after years of promises of action, the government outlawed the manufacture, sale and distribution of plastic bags. Since the ban, the government says 80% of the population have stopped using plastic carrier bags, taking a big step towards a more sustainable and environmentally friendly future.

Kenya is constantly changing in regard to sustainable development, being considerate of the environment and its effects on the country, its people and economy. Taking a large step on the road to a sustainable future, Kenya takes it one step at a time.