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Kenya Seeks to Curb Pollution with Ban on Plastic Bags

The sight of overflowing heaps of plastic waste at Gioto, the largest dump in Nakuru County, in Kenya's Great Rift Valley, was an eyesore that turned photojournalist James Wakibia into an environmental activist.

Knowing plastic was a national problem, he decided to look beyond his hometown of Nakuru, seeking a way to capture the attention of government and consumers in urban and rural communities across the country.

In 2015, Wakibia started a social media campaign, using the Twitter hashtag #banplasticsKE, to call for a ban on plastic use, focused on bags.

A few months later, after Kenya's Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Natural Resources Judi Wakhungu tweeted back her support, he changed the hashtag to #IsupportbanplasticsKE.

Wakibia would go out onto the streets of Nakuru, and take photos of people posing with a placard emblazoned with the hashtag, posting the images on Facebook and Twitter.

Owen Parrish

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