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East Africa Province: The earth is yours. Save it.

E eventSunday, 25 February 2024

Justice, Peace and Integral Care of creation and Solidarity commission plays a crucial role in promoting peace and justice in our community and globally. Last year 2023, in response to Pope Francis’s call to care for the environment, as members of the AOSK (Association of Sisterhood of Kenya) we actively collected litters, especially plastics, like unused bottles and plates and placed them in designated areas to help preserve the environment.

In line with the year’s call on plastic pollution we agreed and committed ourselves to picking up and properly disposing all unused plastic materials. Our community participated in various events organized by AOSK Nairobi Unit, cleaning up Kawangware slum in Dagorretti constituency. This involved picking up of plastic materials and litters in marketplaces in order to have a cleaner environment.

These efforts go beyond just individual’s actions; they demonstrate our community’s dedication to environmental conservation. By attending meetings and activities organized by the AOSK commission, we actively promote awareness and responsibility at all levels – from individual to family and the larger community.

In his encyclical Pope Francis still urges us to reduce greenhouse gases by being responsible and have courage to recycle, reuse the plastics and any other recycled material which can be attained through the use of plastics for planting trees, vegetables and flowers. This is aimed at avoiding disposing the plastics anyhow, which is harmful to our own health and mother earth, our common home.

Many tons of plastics make their way into the ocean every year. This harm aquatic animals that live in different forms of water.  The wind, rain and floods carry the single use plastics of tins, bags, papers, bottles, straws and wrappers from the land to the rivers and streams before the reach the sea. Due to their lightweight they are easily carried away and sometimes they are out of our control. Our market areas with illegal dumping of wastes, careless and improper waste disposals, add great damage to our mother earth.

It is very sad and unfortunate that some of the plastics produced by our industries here in Nairobi cannot be recycled.  We are all aware that plastic can take over a hundred years to decompose, they degrade the quality of soil and can cause fire if not disposed correctly. Due to this uncontrolled production and use of plastics its disposal has become a huge problem in our homes towns and cities. With this trend, what kind of home are we leaving for the children born today?

As consecrated women, the sisters are fully involved in creating awareness in our households, communities and institutions of the importance of environment conservation. This activity has given birth to environmental clubs that make the youth take personal responsibility and make sure that the environment is clean and plastic free for themselves and future generations. They try their best to avoid single use plastics, not to litter on the road or neighbourhood.