Vivienne’s Push For A Cleaner And Greener World Is Changing The Nairobi National Park
By Waithera Mbuthia
If you have visited the Nairobi National Park over the past eight months, you may have come across a group of young Kenyans on a mission to keep the park litter-free. Every day, from 6.00 am to 5.00 pm, they are hard at work, distributing litter bags and sensitizing visitors on the need to keep the park clear of trash. As Kenya grapples with uncontained littering in estates, roads, city centers, and recreational spaces, Vivienne Kemboi and her team are on a mission to ensure that all visitors adhere to a strict “No littering” policy within the park.
Through the “Waste-Free Park Initiative,” Vivienne’s team has taken a leading role in engaging more than 50,000 visitors. Their hard work is bearing fruit: the park is evidently cleaner, visitors are more sensitive to the impact of their litter on wildlife and the environment in general – and they are taking the conservation message beyond the confines of the park.
As we gear up to commemorate World Environment Day in a few days, we are shining the spotlight on Planet Heroes – men and women who are going the extra mile to make the world greener and cleaner, safer and habitable:
Who is Vivienne Kemboi?
I am a trained Monitoring & Evaluation Expert and a passionate Digital Content Creator. I am also the Founder & Executive Director, 3Es Experience Organization
Tell us briefly about your work in environment conservation
I have always been passionate about conservation from a very early age. As a student at the Maasai Mara University, I visited the Maasai Mara Game Reserve regularly. Whenever I visited, I noticed that the road traversing the small shopping centers en route to the Mara Main Gate was heavily littered with polythene bags and plastic bottles.
One time I organized an environment cleanup exercise with the help of the Chief Warden of the Maasai Mara National Park. The success of that one event opened a new avenue for me, as I partnered with the local community and ran a monthly clean-up exercise.
In 2019 I founded 3Es Experience to improve the livelihoods of communities while at the same time empowering underprivileged students in school and promoting environmental conservation.
The organization’s mandate revolves around three key pillars: Energy, Environment, and Empowerment. These strategic pillars can be summed up in our organization's slogan “Clean energy. Sustainable Environments. Empowered populations.”
Tell us briefly about the ongoing partnership with Nairobi National Park
Since October 2020, we have been running an initiative at the Nairobi National Park known as the “Waste-Free Park Initiative”, which is aimed at environmental conservation and wildlife protection of the park`s ecosystem by discouraging littering and encouraging environmental friendly ways of waste disposal. This is so that non-biodegradable waste does not end up inside the park, causing harm to the ecosystem and endangering the lives of animals with threats of extinction.
Visitors coming into the Nairobi National Park are issued with environmental-friendly litter bags in a bid to mop up plastics at the world-famous animal sanctuary. Visitors to the park use the biodegradable bags issued to collect their litter - mainly water, food, and snacks packaging used while inside the park- and disposed of it in litter bins and recycle stations at the entrance, or with some carrying them home to dispose of responsibly. Through this, non-biodegradable plastic waste that is a threat to the park ecosystem is discarded from the park.
How are you able to carry out such a large-scale project?
Through strategic partnerships. We are in partnership with Apex Steel Ltd, National Environmental Complaints Committee, Enviro Wild Initiative, YouTube Channel: Where is Vivienne? and Kenya Wildlife Service. They are in support of the Waste-Free Park Initiative. We are about to launch the school empowerment programs with China Aerospace Construction Company in the coming month.
What are some of the major challenges you have faced?
Program resources and finance remain the biggest challenge, but we are happy with the support we are getting, either through members’ skills, individual and corporate partner contributions, etc. We welcome more partners to come on board because we have so much to do to have a larger impact on society.
To learn more about Vivienne’s conservation projects and prospects, visit https://3experience.org/. You can also link up with her on her Youtube Channel, Where’s Vivienne?