Parenting

It is the responsibility of parents to bring up their children
Parenting demands different responsibilities at different levels
Deuteronomy 6:7: teach your children the law of God diligently
Bringing up children requires creating a conducive environment
The first lessons for a child is watching what the parent does
Parents should practice what they say
You can’t teach children to obey what you don’t practice

Children should feel safe and protected
No shouting and insulting from parents
Ephesians 6:4 parents should not annoy children
Instead bring them up in Christian discipline and instruction
Parents should advice and teach in the Lord
Tell children that you love them

It is the responsibility of parents to discipline their children
Correction and discipline are good for children.
If they have their own way, they will make their mothers ashamed of them.
Discipline your children and you can always be proud of them.
They will never give you reason to be ashamed (‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭29:15, 17‬)

Children just naturally do silly, careless things,
But a good spanking will teach them how to behave (‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭22:15‬)
Don’t hesitate to discipline children.
A good spanking won’t kill them.
As a matter of fact, it may save their lives (‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭23:13-14‬)

Explain why you are disciplining them
Tell children what God tells parents
Not to spare the rod as it will spoil the child (Proverbs 13:24)
That we discipline them while they are young enough to learn
That, if you don’t, you are helping them to destroy themselves (‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭19:18‬)
Talk of a holy chastisement (Hebrews 12:7)
God also chastises those He loves (Deutronomy 8:5, Proverbs 3:12)
Create an environment where you explain
Make children understand decision making process

Know your child’s friends
Advice children to befriend good children
If you realize the child is in bad company, stop that relationship
Look at what your children do
There are some activities that damage children
Know which parties they are invited, some may spoil them
Have interest in the activities that children are involved in
Monitor television viewing and internet use
Stand your ground as a parent

Let’s have a routine of godliness
Such as Prayer, singing hymns, read the bible
No staying at home on Sunday
Go to church, be there early
If one is not going to church, do pray, sing hymns, read bible
Train children prayer, hymns, reading bible
Select simple songs and teach the children
They will never forget the songs throughout life

Show children values and virtues of a Christian
Honesty, self discipline, respect, perseverance
Integrity, generosity, kindness, hard work
Values are the foundation of a Christian

Parents should create time for the children
Be role models to the children
Set a good example to the children
The way we talk, respond
Teach children to apologize, acknowledge
Read bible with the children

Share personal experiences with your children
Tell them bad decisions you made and their negative effects
Tell them good decisions you made and their positive effects
Manage language barrier challenges
Be friendly to your children

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Increase in number of vehicles in Kenya is a health concern

Registered Vehicles 2008 2012

Kenya has witnessed an exponential rise in all types of vehicles. Scientists have expressed concerns from the negative effects of air pollution. Scientifically it has been confirmed that vehicles are responsible for increased air pollution due to emission of the following gases.

1. Ozone gas

Ozone is formed when nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds (hydrocarbons) mix in sunlight. The source of Nitrogen oxides is mainly burning gasoline, coal, or other fossil fuels. Ozone gas can be found in two places namely near the ground (the troposphere) and in the upper atmosphere (stratosphere). Ozone in lower atmosphere forms a major part of smog. Ozone near the ground has been blamed for health complications such as asthma attacks, sore throats, coughs, and breathing difficulty. This could lead lead to premature deaths. Ozone in upper atmosphere screens out harmful ultraviolet rays.

2. Carbon monoxide gas

Carbon monoxide gas is produced through burning of fossil fuels mostly in automobiles. This happens mostly when the fuel is not completely burnt possibly as a result of engines not being tuned properly. Increase in carbon monoxide in the atmosphere could be fatal since it reduces the ability of the red blood cells to carry oxygen to the cells. This could lead to death.

3. Nitrogen dioxide

Nitrogen dioxide is generated from the burning of fossil fuels mostly from power plants and cars. It could also be formed when nitrogen in the air reacts with oxygen at very high temperatures for instance during lightning strikes.

Nitrogen dioxide in high concentrations can make people suffer from coughing that results in feeling of short of breath. Prolonged exposure to nitrogen dioxide results in respiratory infections.

Nitrogen dioxide reacts with water vapour and other substances in the atmosphere to form acid rain which can harm plants and animals.

4. Particulate matter

Particulate matter in the atmosphere could occur in form of solid or liquid matter suspended in the air. These particles are normally less than 0.1-mm wide. There are two types of particulate matter
a. Coarse particles emanate from road dust, construction dust and sea spray among others.
b. Fine particles are formed when fuel is burned in automobiles and power plants.

As the particles become smaller in size, their possibility to be breathed into our lungs also increases. These particles settle in the lungs and damage them causing health problems such as asthma attacks, respiratory problems, and premature death.

5. Sulfur dioxide

Sulphur dioxide is a corrosive gas that is released from fossil fuels in power plants as well as fuel combustion in mobile sources such as locomotives, ships, and other equipment. Other sources of this gas include factories that make chemicals, paper, or fuel.

Sulphur dioxide easily dissolves in wet surfaces of our body causing irritation of people’s eyes, noses, and throats. People with asthma or emphysema are at higher risk from sulphur dioxide gas.

Sulphur dioxide gas reacts in the atmosphere forming acid rain and particles which can harm plants, damage buildings. The particles in the atmosphere could also reduce visibility and hence affect personal safety.

6. Carbon dioxide

Carbon dioxide is released from burning of fossil fuels in cars, power plants, houses, and industry. This gas is the most important greenhouse gas which is responsible for climate change.

7. Hazardous air pollutants (toxics)

Vehicles emit toxic air laden with pollutants such as Benzene, acetaldehyde, and 1,3-butadiene. These toxins are known to cause cancer, birth defects and other serious illnesses.

The information above shows that as the number of vehicles increase, there is a likelihood of increase in fatalities due to air pollution. The urban community would be more affected since that is where more vehicles are concentrated.

Moulded daily

We are an ongoing work for Christ
Christ is doing new things in us every day
Salvation is free, but one has to work out for it
In insurance industry, we are asked to declare specifications
Of the things to be insured
Since terms and conditions apply
For a vehicle, one needs correct switches, locks, tracking devises
Any violations renders the insurance invalid

God is moulding our character daily
Jesus Christ is our model, our specification
Humanity is to be remodeled to the image of Christ
It’s only God who can remodel us to the image of Christ
All of us in this world are expected to bond to Christ
And bond with all in Christ, to become the church of Christ

All of us shall assemble in heaven
The character that is being moulded in us is Christian character
When all practicing Christian values meet in heaven
We shall all be alike (Rev 14), and shall walk with Jesus

A mould is unique for each item and is applied to a certain number of items
All items made by same pattern look alike
With Christianity, God does not change the template
We are from the same template, all humanity
All Christians are the same in the eyes of God

A porter always dismantles pots that do not fit the preset template
God is the master porter, moulding us the way He wants
He will only give us that which will give glory to His name
It pleases God when we remain righteous (Ezekiel 18:24)

If a righteous man walks away from righteousness
He will never be remembered again
If a sinful man repents
His sinfulness shall never be remembered
God wants us to serve him in righteousness

Everyone has a role in sanctification
The one who started the good work will bring it to completion
Joseph was a righteous man (Genesis 39)
His character would never let him sin against God
He knew God was working inside him

Process of sanctification is not completed in one day
Every day, Jesus continues to mould us
We are work in progress
There is no way we can hear God if He does not live in us
The Lord knows that we cannot make it on our own
It’s the Holy Spirit in us who hears God
He gives us the joy and strength that we need on our journey
And tells us what God wants

Behold anew

God is making things new (Revelation 21:5)
Many things blockade our progress
God is ready to make us have a fresh start (Isaiah 35:3)
This is the year to strengthen each other
We hold unto each other and move together
God is ready to do unto us good things (Psalms 40:1-3)
Let’s wait patiently for Him
Let’s walk together, we are a great team
We shall be victors if we walk with Christ
Our life is a gift, an opportunity, a mystery
Our life is an influence, to impact onto others

People have a lot of expectations for the new year
They look ahead to the freshness of the new year
Everything new is refreshing (Rev21:1-5)
People wait for it with a lot of eagerness
People are ever eager to get new things
The blessings of God are new every morning
There is always new gift from God every morning
The same happens every year

As long as the present heavens and earth remains
There will be seasons of good things and seasons of bad things
There will be seasons for sorrow and happiness
Seasons to cry and to laugh, difficult and tough times
Times to celebrate and to mourn
But each day our salvation time is fast approaching
It is now nearer than ever before

Whenever there is a new thing, there must have been an old thing
There is a new heaven and old earth (Isaiah 65:18)
Old earth was crated in Genesis
Old heaven is not where the seat of God rests
Paul talked of the third heaven
When God created heaven and earth, He said they were good
They were not contaminated with sin
With the fall of Adam and Eve, the devil ruled the earth

Whatever circumstances we are in is temporal
We should invest more on the heavenly things
Where the investment cannot be destroyed
God has a new plan (Isaiah 43:18-19)
The current earth is temporal and wears off
It is not habitable by any new creation

The old nature is dominated by sin and suffering, disease, strife
Jealous, rebellion and rust (Rev 21:5)
The former things will disappear and will not be remembered again
This earth will not be remolded, recycled
It will be entirely replaced
It will pass away, with the tricking of an eye (2Peter3:10)
Everything will be burnt, our houses, vehicles, all investment
Everything will melt with the new heaven

The new heaven will remain in front of God forever (Isaiah 66:22)
This new heaven and earth will be perfect
They will have unmatched perfection
The new heaven and earth will be there forever
It will be filled with righteousness (2Peter3:13)
Everything therein will be new
There will be no disease, hunger, poverty, inequality
Unrighteousness shall not be welcome in heaven (Rev21:27)
Jesus is our only hope in getting to heaven (1Timothy 1:1)
All who are in Christ are a new creation (2Cor5:17)

Seven reasons why Kenya banned the plastic carrier bags?

Plastics were introduced in Kenya in the 1960s as a simple solution for packaging. The polythene bags use gained momentum over the years. Shoppers were supplied with excess of these bags and one could request for any number of bags so long as there was something to be packed. Unfortunately, consumers did not know what to do with them once they unwrapped the bought items. There was little awareness on proper disposal of the bags and appropriate mechanisms of their disposal was lacking.

Plastic bags were favoured by industry, retailers and the public for the following reasons.
1. They are cost-effective, easy to use, and convenient to store.
2. They are available in bulk purchases at very low cost as compared to alternative bags such as reusable cloth bags.
3. Plastic bags are quicker to open, pack, and double up than other bags.
4. Plastic bags are light and require less storage space than other bags.

Over the years, these bags continued to be dumped recklessly and turned into a rather costly undertaking. The plastic bags turned out to be the biggest challenge in solid waste management.

Kenya’s resolve to ban Polythene bags was informed by scientific evidence of the negative effects of the same. The seven reasons why Kenya banned use of plastic carrier bags include the following:-

1. Reduce environmental aesthetics

Once used and disposed improperly, polythene bags becomes litter and finds it’s way into waterways, parks, beaches and streets reducing their aesthetics. Evidence of being near an urban centre was the increase in prevalence of all colour of polythene bags. Our trees were full of differently coloured bags blown by wind.

For the tourist sector, Kenya’s selling point is her natural and scenic beauty, which needs to be safeguarded. A major concern is that the highways being the gateways to Kenya’s major tourist attraction destinations were strewn with scattered plastic waste. Our national parks were no longer natural and were littered either by tourists or through polythene bags blown by wind. Nakuru National Park for instance was collecting tons of polythene bags either blown by wind into the park or carried to the lake by the rivers draining therein. Every month, Nakuru National Park used over Kshs 1 million to clear the polythene bags in the park.

2. Release toxic fumes when burnt

If burned, they pollute air with toxic fumes that contain chemicals including dioxins and furans, which have been linked with cancer. It is common to find people burning waste at dumpsites and at residential areas. The smoke flows freely and people seemed not to be aware of the dangers they were exposed to. Hence many people may have been exposed to carcinogens from plastic smoke.

3. Kills animals after ingesting the bags

They are a threat to aquatic life, wildlife animals and livestock whereby if ingested, the polythene bags fill the gut of the animal and kill it, and remain intact even after the death and decomposition of the animal. Data from abattoirs in Kenya indicated that at least one case per day of animals with plastics in their digestive systems is reported in every abattoir. The most affected livestock are cows, which may be attributed to the selective feeding preferences of other types of livestock such as sheep and goats. A case was reported of a slaughtered cow with an average of 2.5 kilograms of plastic waste in its lumen. This has negative economic impacts especially in dairy cows.

Kenya’s marine ecosystem was not spared either. Every year, tons of polythene bags and other waste was collected from our oceans especially during Coastal Cleanup day. The oceans were littered with all types of polythene bags and marine animals were found with these bags in their lumen.

4. Contribute to flooding in urban areas

Flimsy polythene bags litter clogs drainage and sewer lines increasing the costs of maintenance, and if unattended lead to flooding of urban areas during heavy rains. This makes our roads impassable and cuts off some areas when it rains. If flooding worsens, it can lead to drowning, destruction of houses and loss of life.

5. Act as breeding grounds for harmful organisms

Polythene bags trap stagnant water which becomes a breeding ground for mosquitoes that cause malaria which can kill people.The littered bags also provide hideouts for other harmful organisms such as rats, cockroaches and snakes which can harm people either directly or as carriers of disease causing microbes.

6. Take centuries to decompose

The decomposition of polythene bags takes about 1000 years and this means that they remain for long in the environment. Hence the polythene bags that were introduced in Kenya in the 1960’s is still lying somewhere in the environment causing harm to the planet and people.

7. Legal and policy demands

The Constitution of Kenya 2010 Article 42 assures all Kenyans a clean and healthy environment, of course with a demand upon all people to be responsible to safeguard this right. Article 69 obligates the government to eliminate all processes and activities that degrade the environment. Polythene bags are a common environmental menace and needs to be removed from the environment.

To fulfil these constitutional demands, the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources has developed several policies, key among them being the Sessional Paper No. 10 of 2014 on Environment Policy. The waste management agenda is further legislated in EMCA Cap 287 and its associated Waste Management Regulations 2006. In addition, the National Solid Waste Management Strategy 2014 further elaborates actions to be taken to address the waste challenge at national and county level.

This Gazette notice No. 2356 issued on 28th February 2017 banned the plastic carrier bags and was a culmination of a healthy debate between the government and the private sector on solid waste management especially on how to eliminate the polythene bags. This engagement started in 2007 when the first legislation was imposed through a finance bill. This bill introduced excise duty on importation of polythene raw materials and products. However, this intervention did not help to solve the plastic bags menace. Hence the discussion between the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, NEMA and the private sector through the Kenya Association of Manufacturers continued, without much result.

From 2007, the main complaint from the private sector was loss of jobs. However careful analysis of this complaint revealed that the direct jobs related to polythene bags were mainly confined in Nairobi where the factories were located. The indirect jobs were mainly retail of the polythene bags. Hence these jobs were localized, engaged only a few people since the system was automated and mechanical; but the environmental damage was nationwide.

This analysis also showed that a shift from polythene carrier bags to alternative bags could create more jobs all over the country. The alternative packaging industry would also revive indigenous art craft and growing of some crops such as sisal and cotton. Hence the cost benefit analysis indicated that removal of carrier bags had elevated levels of livelihood gains as well as environmental conservation benefits.

EMCA Cap 387 requires that NEMA advises the office of the Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (MENR) on diverse aspects of environmental management including the areas requiring additional legislation, policies and guidelines. In the case of the plastic carrier bags ban, NEMA advised the Cabinet Secretary to impose a ban on plastic carrier bags.

Law making process demands for extensive consultation with the Attorney General’s office where legal drafting is done. The Cabinet Secretary MENR consulted at length with the Attorney General’s office and the gazette notice no. 2356 was refined and published on 28th February 2017 and a grace period of 6 months was given to the industry and the public to adjust to the ban. The ban became effective on 28th August 2017.

The plastic carrier bags ban has been in place for some time. The alternative bags production has been upscaled and has employed many people from across the country. It is also interesting to note that this livelihood option employs people of all levels of education and gender. Hence it enhances inclusivity.

Since the ban became effective, the country appears to be getting cleaner. The plastic bags littering that was an eyesore is reducing. The residential areas now look less littered. There is hope that if all people comply with the ban and stop using the polythene bags, all the challenges associated with the polythene bags will not be there anymore.

Weeping over the polythene bags

The crackdown on offences relating to the plastic carrier bags has been enhanced. Every day, the daily newspapers are awash with reports on people taken to court and fined heavily for crimes related to the plastic carrier bag.

It is an offence to use, import or manufacture plastic carrier bags in Kenya. This is after the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) advised the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (MENR) to legislate against the plastic bags. Hence on 28th February 2017, the Cabinet Secretary (MENR) gazetted the plastic carrier bags ban, with an effective date commencing six months later (28th August 2017)

After 28th August, Kenyans who are still in love with the polythene bags have been doing their business hinding. I have visited several places and whenever I confront somebody selling their wares in plastic bags, the first response is that of flight. They seem ready to take off and run away if my engagement suggests enforcement action. This implies that Kenyans are aware of the plastic carrier bags ban, and breaking the law is rather deliberate. This justifies the need for enforcement action being undertaken by NEMA.

When NEMA arrests a plastic carrier bags culprit, a case file is prepared and submitted to court. According to the Environmental Management and Coordination Act (EMCA) Cap 387, those found guilty of offences risk being fined between Kshs 2 million to 4 million or imprisonment of between 1 year to 4 years. These penalties are very high. There are very few Kenyans who can afford this minimum fine of Kshs 2 million.

The courts initially took a very lenient route, but as days go by, the penalties have been increasing. Those arrested in earlier days benefitted from warnings from the courts. This has graduated into fines of Kshs. 5000. Others have had to part with heavy cash bonds ranging from Ksh 100,000 to Kshs 2 million. It is becoming a reality that soon, somebody will be fined the full amount prescribed in EMCA Cap 387. Imagine just possessing a few polythene bags making one to part with all this money. Funny thing, many Kenyans have ears but they don’t hear, they have eyes but do not see. Every day, we are witnessing new culprits being aligned in court.

No government would wish to subject its citizens to any pain. The arrests of Kenyans and their prosecution in court is regrettable. But why do Kenyans want to continue with old habits even after they have been legislated against?
Can the government close its eyes when Kenyans ignore a law meant to make the environment more pristine. Possibly not. Every day, the NEMA enforcers wish that all Kenyans would comply to the plastic bags ban and there would be no need to disturb people as they go ahead with their daily chores. But this has not happened, hence a few Kenyans have found themselves in court. Very regrettable indeed.

The intention of the polythene bags ban was not to diminish Kenyans’ comfort with regard to packaging of their wares. To the contrary, the government wished Kenyans to make packaging more enjoyable, one that does not lead to a degraded environment. The use of the alternative bags was meant to be full of fun where one takes care of his or her packaging bag and reuses it over and over. This implies that there would be enhanced attachment to the alternative bag which becomes albeit like a souvenir.

I take this opportunity to warn my friends to beware that enforcement of the ban on plastic carrier bags is on in full gear. The courts are already operating within the provisions of EMCA Cap 387. You can be fined Kshs 2 million, and this may make you to be a bother to your friends and relatives. If you are unable to pay the fine, your family and friends may miss you for a period of not less than one year. In either way, jail or fine, economic, social and opportunity costs losses will be enormous. Please keep off the plastic carrier bags.

Teaching a toddler about clouds

The sky is fascinating
Looking at it, there are many colours
The blue colour dominates
The blue colour covers a long distance
Clouds appear like smoke in the sky
Clouds float in the sky
Clouds are blown by wind from place to place.
Clouds are formed in the sky from water vapour
Clouds are made of small drops of water
Clouds are white or dark in colour
Clouds with a lot of water are dark in colour
Clouds with little water are white in colour
When the sky is full of clouds, the weather is cloudy
Dark clouds sometimes give us rain

Dark clouds become heavy with water vapour
Dark, heavy clouds form drops of water which falls on the ground as rain

After the polythene ban, which bags shall remain in use in Kenya?

On 28th February 2017, the Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Natural resources issued the Gazette notice No. 2356, banning the use, manufacture and importation of all plastic bags used for commercial and household packaging. The gazette notice effective date will be Monday, 28th August 2017.

Does this date signify the end of use of plastic bags in Kenya? To a big extent this is true. Most of the carrier bags will not be used in Kenya any more. But a few polythene bags will remain as I will explain below.

Since publishing of the ban, the stakeholders dealing with polythene bags have held numerous meetings with NEMA presenting their case on why the ban should not be implemented on certain products. From these meetings, the ban has been interpreted in an effort to clarify which polythene bags will remain, to ensure that businesses are not adversely affected. NEMA has explained this on their website (www.nema.go.ke) as frequently asked questions. In this regard, NEMA has proposed several exemptions to the polythene ban. The exemptions are classified in several categories as listed below.

Category 1: Plastic carrier bags

All bags in this category are banned. These are bags commonly known as “Juala” that are used as secondary packages for items in shops, markets etc. In this category of banned bags, there are NO EXEMPTIONS

Category 2: Flat bags

Flat bags have numerous uses and exemptions in this category differ. For instance those flat bags used for carrying items outside industrial setting such as to carry items from groceries are banned.

However, in this category EXEMPTION is extended for bags used for industrial primary packaging where the product is in direct contact with the plastic and is done at the source. Examples of this primary packaging include bread, salt, sugar, sausages and other foodstuff. Other exemptions include polythene bags used in packaging of fish products and agricultural produce. Polythene bags used for the tree nursery tubes are also exempted.

Exemptions under this category are provided subject to the following conditions:
i. Extended Producer/User Responsibility and/or effective Take Back Schemes – the manufacturer or user of the product must ensure that a plan is in place to mop up the waste generated.
ii. Legibly and permanently labelled bags to indicate the name of the industry manufacturing the product, the end-user and physical addresses for ease of monitoring, traceability and therefore ease of enforcement intervention.
iii. Keeping of inventory/record with the aim of implementing the take back scheme.

Category 3: Flat bags used as Garbage and hazardous (e.g. medical waste, chemicals etc.) waste liners
i. Hazardous waste liners are exempted so long as they are legibly and permanently labelled (as indicated in 2 ii above) and color-coded and are incinerated together with the waste.

ii. Garbage Liners are also exempted on condition that they are clearly labelled (as indicated in 2 ii above) and have demonstrated effective and efficient Extended Producer/User Responsibility and/or effective Take Back Schemes. The liners will NOT be dumped together with the waste but will be emptied and reused or recycled by the licensed waste collector and transporter (the end user).

Category 4: Duty Free shop bags
The ban applies to the use, manufacture and importation of the banned plastics within Kenya. Bags issued at Duty free shops at airports are exempted due to ICAO and IATA Rules and Regulations. However, any traveller coming into Kenya with duty free bags shall be required to leave the same at the point of entry.

Credit: NEMA-Kenya
For more updates, visit http://www.nema.go.ke

Love

Everyone yearns to be loved
Love makes us happy
Love excites
Love is patient
Love is kind
Love is gracious
Love rehabilitate sinners
Love perseveres
Love forgives
Love is merciful
Love respects
Love is emotive
Love rejoices in goodness
Love does not pretend
Love nurtures warm relationships
Love is not jealous
Love does not boast
Love is not proud
Love is not self-seeking
Love is not easily angered,
Love keeps no record of wrongs
Love does not delight in evil
Love rejoices with the truth
Love always protects
Love always trusts
Love always hopes

Mark 12:28-31
John 13:34-35
1Cor 13:1-3
Romans 12:9

Where there is no love we get:

Selfishness
Love of money
Greed
Fighting
No respect
Hatred
Conflict
Competition
Negative energy
Anger
Loss
Wastage
Foulness
Punishment
Insults
Impunity
Death

….among others

Suggested activities to mark an environmental day

The World Environment Day (WED) is celebrated every 5th June. The decision to mark WED was arrived at during the 1st World Conference on Environment held in 1972 in Stockholm Sweden. Hence the day is a very important occasion marking the birthday of environmental movement globally.

Since there are many environmental challenges facing humanity, it is possible to designate any day to be an environment day. People could be mobilized to come together and undertake activities to address the environmental challenge affecting them.

Most people do not know what to do to mark an environmental day. Here below is a list of Fifty suggested innovative activities to mark an Environment Day at institutional and individual level.

1. Participate in tree planting, clean-ups within the institution or at community level
2. Engaging the media to publicize the greening activities in learning institution
3. Saturate institutional websites with reports of ongoing green interventions
4. Organize outdoor fun / learning activities
5. Greening/integrating environmental aspects in workplans and teaching approaches
6. Organize drama and art activities on environmental issues
7. Initiate or upscale waste recycling activities
8. Organize competitions such as sports, art etc with environmental theme
9. Invite knowledgeable people to give a talk on an environmental issue and what could be done
10. Develop and disseminate awareness materials customized on an environmental theme
11. Teachers to read a speech during assembly from the Cabinet Secretary Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources on World Environment Day
12. Arrange a speech competition among best debaters of the school on an environmental theme
13. Organize a poster competition and give awards to makers of best posters
14. Organize a skit competition and give award to best performers
15. Students to write essays on significance of an environmental issue
16. Mount posters at eye-catching spots telling people about an environmental issue
17. Develop short green slogans and publicize them
18. Organize a peaceful march within the locality for the environment and display placards
19. Avoid use of polythene bags and polluting the environment
20. Switch off gadgets that use electricity if not needed
21. Write to Member of County Assembly, members of parliament, government and newspapers the local environmental issues that need to be addressed
22. Assess areas where environmental degradation has taken place and raise awareness on what should be done
23. Organize an exhibition for different people and institutions to display their green practices
24. Mobilize communities to plant trees in farms
25. Avoid activities leading to environmental degradation
26. Take measures to conserve soil
27. Promote water and energy conservation
28. Promote awareness on smart agriculture
29. Promote awareness and adoption of better environmental practices
30. Give green champions/worker awards to members of staff who demonstrate greatest commitment to environmental conservation
31. Study the latest institutional environmental, health and safety audit progress report and publicise it among staff and in the media to demonstrate commitment to green economy. This will motivate other industrial players to follow suit.
32. Write on social media platform such as Facebook and Twitter and that of your friends about your thoughts and actions regarding the World Environment Day
33. Design and develop a WED themed customized poster and post it on your social page timeline
34. Search the internet for environmental information related to the WED theme and share it within your social platforms
35. Search for green groups on the internet and share your environmental concerns with them
36. Participate in environmental discussions initiated on social media by other environmentalists
37. Conduct a competition on social media on the WED theme to raise environmental awareness
38. Press the “Like button” on all shares done by others on social media to encourage sharing more environmental awareness messages
39. Organize a panel discussion of imminent environmentalists to discuss a pertinent environmental issue
40. Organize an awareness caravan of vehicles branded with environmental messages and with enhanced sound equipment to reach many people with environmental awareness.
41. Visit the UN Environment website page on World Environment Day to get more updates
42. Religious institutions such as churches, mosques and temples to include environmental messages in their sermons to their congregation.
43. Buy, promote and use food items grown or sourced using environmentally friendly practices
44. Develop appropriate documentaries and avail them online or broadcast them on TV or Radio
45. Visit the members of the community, explain the local environmental challenges and spend time with them improving the environment
46. Engage all your institutional stakeholders to dispose waste appropriately
47. Organize a beauty contest to promote environmental consciousness
48. Organize and publicize for participation in a non-motorized week/day for your institution and local community whereby people walk/cycle instead of driving. They could also use public instead of individual transport
49. Buy, promote and use green products that save energy, are recyclable, do not emit greenhouse gases, are not hazardous
50. Organize an environmental clinic/open day when experts assemble at a place, interact with members of the community and respond to any green economy related questions

Use of a branded truck to get awareness messages closer to the people

Mazingira Safi

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In November 2015, the world community adopted the Sustainable Development Goals, which are to be implemented by all stakeholders including government, civil society, private sector, media, development partners and learning institutions. These players are expected to innovatively address the 17 goals and 169 targets to make our world more peaceful and livable. Goal 4 requires stakeholders to Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all. Target 4.7 reiterates that by 2030, ensure that all learners acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development, including, among others, through education for sustainable development and sustainable lifestyles, human rights, gender equality, promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence, global citizenship and appreciation of cultural diversity and of culture’s contribution to sustainable development.

Environmental challenges are a major concern for all humanity. In this regard, everybody is a learner who require to be educated to enable…

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Most important one

The trinity comprise of the three persons
God the Father, His Son Jesus Christ
And the invisible Holy Spirit
The Holy Ghost is gentle
He is not any lesser than God the Father or Jesus

There are three things that bear witness in heaven (1John 5:7-8)
The trinity, and are never in competition
Never in conflict, but abide as one
In the beginning God created the earth
It was void and without form, a formless earth
The Holy Spirit moved over the formless earth

If we fail to acknowledge Him
Fail to recognize Him
Fail to invite and involve Him
Fail to allow Him to lead and guide us
We deny ourselves the Trinity’s power
Holy Spirit is the power of entire trinity
His absence means there is no power
Jesus promised, Holy Ghost is power (Acts 1:8)
Powers believers to witness Christ locally and globally

Close fellowship is demanded with the Holy Spirit
We are the generation of the Holy Spirit
Jesus said that after going away, He will ask the Father
To send us the Holy Spirit to be our comforter (John 14:16)
Jesus described the Holy Spirit as the most important
Jesus had to go, for the most important to come
The Holy Spirit came to take over

Jesus was led by the Holy Spirit
…. to be tempted in the wilderness (Mathew 4:1)
He emerged victor
When Jesus was baptized in River Jordan, God spoke,
…. but Holy Spirit descended on Jesus (Mathew 3:16-17)
Jesus had not performed any miracle
…. before Holy Spirit came upon Him in river Jordan
Those guided by Holy Spirit do exploits

Whatever Jesus did, he was powered by the Holy Spirit
Our electronics are powered by unique systems
Smartphones are powered by Android, IOS, Microsoft etc
Holy Spirit powers the entire trinity
What powers you?

All prophets prophesied about Jesus
Jesus referred the Holy Spirit as most important
Its disastrous to regard the Holy Spirit as the least important
This is the generation of the Holy Spirit

John the Baptist praised Jesus
God praised Jesus
Many people praised Jesus,
Even blessed are the breasts that Jesus sucked (Luke 11:27)
Jesus praised the Holy Spirit

After Jesus left, His disciples were timid
Lived in fear, used to gather in a room
To avoid their Jewish persecutors
While gathered in the upper room
Tongues of Holy Spirit fire came upon them
Filled them with power, and city was bewildered
Peter, formerly timid, preached with courage
Thousands accepted salvation of Jesus Christ (Acts 2)

Those who make the Holy Spirit sad are in danger
God become their enemy and fights against them (‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭63:10‬)
Whoever says evil things against the Holy Spirit
Is blasphemy, will never be forgiven
It’s committing an eternal sin (Mark‬ ‭3:29‬)
All sins can be forgiven but not blasphemy on the Holy Spirit

Additional input from Sermon by Pastor Aaron Mutebi of Miracle Centre, Entebbe, Uganda on 10th March 2017

Tree seedlings grow better in biodegradable bags

Kenyans are still coming to terms with the recent ban on production, importation and use of polythene bags that was imposed by the Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Natural Resources on 28th February 2017. The ban is due to be effective after 6 months, that is on 28th August 2017. One of the sectors known to use many polythene bags is the growing of tree seedlings. Most tree nurseries nurture seedlings in polythene bags.

Owners of the seed beds have always argued that polythene bags have many advantages which include being cheap, readily available, easy to use and hold the water inside the bag reducing the need for regular watering, and hence reduction in water bills. The owners of tree nurseries however are not keen to mention the negative impact of the polythene bags such as visual pollution, littering, clogging of water drainage systems, death of livestock and wildlife through feeding on the bags, air pollution when bags are burnt and the health effects of carcinogenic furans and dioxins breathed in with the smoke.

Now that the ban is in place, it is crucial that we reflect on alternatives to the polythene bags for growing the tree seedlings. Alternatives in this case include bags made from natural fibres such as cotton, sisal, grasses, papyrus among others. Fortunately the skill to make the biodegradable bags is resident within communities. Hence with the enforcement of the polythene ban, it is expected that people in rural areas especially women will be contracted to supply these alternative bags. These bags have not been popular for this purpose because of the extensive preference of the polythene bag.

Biodegradable bags made through an industrial process are also expected to come in handy in tree nurseries. These bags are made of petrochemicals, though manufactured differently as compared to the normal polythene bags. Biodegradable bags are made to break down quickly in the presence of air and sunshine hence are labeled as oxydegradable or photodegradable respectively.

Other industrial biodegradable polythene bags could also be made from organic, renewable sources, such as vegetable oils, corn, and grains. Some biodegradable plastics/polythene bags are compostable and can decompose to create humus releasing valuable nutrients to the soil. There are many factories that manufacture biodegradable bags, and it is highly likely that there are shiploads of these bags in high seas heading to Kenya to service the gap created by the polythene bag ban.

A study done on biodegradable bags(see this link ) showed that they present more survival advantages to tree seedlings as compared to the polythene bag. It was noted that seedlings grown in biodegradable bags do not suffer the shock and disturbance experienced during the translocation of the seedlings. You are familiar with the process of planting a tree seedling that was grown in a polythene bag. The seedling must be removed from the polythene bag. During this process, in some cases, the soil gets disturbed, loosens and scatters and expose the roots. The seedling hence suffers some shock and this interferes with the rate of establishment of the seedling within the new environment. This is not the case with a seedling grown in biodegradable bags. There is no need to remove the seedling from the bag, just insert it into the prepared hole and bury the roots in the soil. After some time, the bag will wither and rot and the roots will establish themselves within the new environment.

Planting tree seedlings nurtured in polythene bags has been a challenge to many people. I remember one incident I visited a school in Kisumu County to monitor seedlings survival in a project sponsored by the Ministry of Environment dubbed “Green Schools Project”. One headteacher showed us a site they had planted over 500 tree seedlings but only about 20 were still surviving. When we enquired why the survival rate for the seedlings was very low, he responded that the school made a mistake of not removing the polythene bags when the seedlings were being replanted. Hence they planted the tree seedlings while still inside the polythene bag. The roots of these seedlings could not reach water and nutrients outside the bag and the trees were starved to death. As an educator, I was baffled since I had assumed that tree planting was an easy task. If an activity supervised by qualified teachers could accommodate such a mistake, what about the general public who are not highly educated?

It is therefore evident that the elimination of polythene bags would lead to enhanced survival of tree seedlings as well as reduced environmental pollution. The biodegradable bags bring forth numerous benefits and will contribute to reduction of wastage of our precious tree seedlings. This is a welcome gesture since the country is determined to increase her tree cover to 10% as prescribed in the Kenya Constitution 2010. Those dealing with tree nurseries should hence hurry up to embrace the alternative bags as the effective date for the ban is quickly approaching. All efforts should be made to prioritize locally made alternative bags as a way of supporting employment opportunities for the local people.

References

Muriuki J.K et al (2014) Testing Biodegradable Seedling Containers as an Alternative for Polythene Tubes in Tropical Small-Scale Tree Nurseries Small-scale Forestry: Volume 13, Issue 2 (2014), Page 127-142.

Polythene bags degrade innovation and culture

For those of us who grew in the village, visiting another home required planning. One needed an agenda to be tackled especially if its a home you don’t visit regularly. Hence there was sufficient reason for a visit. Not that people never used to interact, but a visitor was taken seriously. If one just wanted to interact, you could talk to each other over the fence or meet along the footpaths. Or even at the market place, local shopping centres or the watering point. But visit to homes was considered very honorable.

It was notable that home visits were also accompanied with exchange of gifts. A bottle of milk, a kilo of sugar, a packet of flour, sweet potatoes, cassava, arrowroots and maize cobs are among the items that were carried to the home to be visited. Normally these items were carried by women. The container used was normally a woven basket popularly known as ‘kiondo’.

In African culture, when you visit a home, generosity is extended, regardless of the economic status of the family visited. There was food and drink for visitors. This enabled community members to interact and bond more closely. The presentation of the gift was symbolic of the respect given to the home being visited and the planning done prior to the visit.

The end of the visit was characterized with more exchange of gifts. It was the turn of the home visited to return the ‘kiondo’ with something inside. One cannot return the ‘kiondo’ without a gift. The ‘kiondo’ was only used to carry the gift and is not given away to the home being visited. The person visited took the ‘kiondo’, emptied the contents, and filled it with different types of gifts in return. This was the fun of African culture.

What happened with the coming of the polythene bags? Normally, polythene bags are single use containers. The bag will carry the gift and since everybody knows its cheap, its normally retained with the gift. When the gift is unwrapped, the paper will be discarded away since it could even have gotten torn. In addition, nobody attaches a lot of value to the polythene bag, unlike the ‘kiondo’ which had to be returned to the owner.

Those who visit carrying gifts in polythene bags face a challenge of not committing the person visited to reciprocate with a gift. Some people give excuses that they have no containers to put the gift for the visitor. Culturally, the polythene bag is not considered as a suitable container that can compel for gift reciprocation.

Those young people who have grown during the era of polythene bags have missed this rich cultural heritage. They are used to one way traffic in gift exchange. Polythene bags denies people the opportunity to propagate this culture of gifts giving and reciprocating.

With the banning of the polythene bags in Kenya, it is expected that this rich cultural heritage will be revived. There will be more exchange of gifts, more interaction and bonding among communities. In addition, there will be reduced pollution to the natural environment.

Examinations


Examinations, this man made yardstick
Determinant of cognitive retention
Demonstration of understanding
Also application of learnt staff

Listening to concepts and facts
From the ‘learned one’, the teacher
Tends enjoyable, especially if it tickles
With ones interests
But exercises to practice
Are a bit stressful

Come the exam time
The ‘learned one’ announces
That what’s learnt is enough
For the level entered
But it’s time for learners
To demonstrate, having learnt
Individually, in a timed period

Ambush is rare, but evident
Exam timetables diffuse ambush
Some questions uphold ambush
No matter how one prepares
Scoring excellent is rare
Ambush with concocted questions
Constitutes fun for the ‘learned one’

You ‘learned one’, the privileged one
With authority to ask questions
And only your questions matter
Why can’t you allow me to set
My questions and answer them?
Isn’t that a measure of learnt staff?
How comes it’s only your staff that matter?

You ‘learned one’, do you understand
The strain, stress, sleeplessness
Fatigue, uncertainty, eagerness
That accompany exam preparations?
To satisfy your secret questions?

You ‘learned one’, why ignore
That some have lost their mind
Relieved themselves on their clothes
Miscarried or being hospitalized
Due to exam anxiety?
Some people are ashamed
Of narratives of their reflex responses
That expose innate combat
That’s what your questions do

I thought exam anxiety is for higher classes
Till I met lower kindergarten pupils shaking
That exam is coming and are unprepared
I thought kindergarten staff was easy
That young ones do not suffer
From ‘learned ones’ exams
How mistaken I was

The narratives after examination
Expose barely the trickster-ism
Associated with examinations
Even simple questions look twisted
To confuse learners, or make them innovative?
To demonstrate understanding
And application of concepts
That’s the essence of education
To liberate and transform the mind

Yet if one fails to take the exams
The society judge them harshly
Consider them deficient of bargaining power
That certificate acquired after success in exams
Is loaded with social global power
To secure employment and contracts
It ascribes power and authority

So, is it wise to hate examinations?
Should abhorring them be promoted?
The best option is to conceal my position
The social system has entrenched it deeply
The only discussion entertained on this matter
Is improvement not discarding it
Generations prescribing to this social discourse
Must live with the pros and cons of it
Till a radical transformative alternative discourse
Takes root and prevails, as a better option

The robe

When we reach heaven, we shall give an account
Of our walk with Christ
The angels await the completion of the work of Christ
The world is full of people washed by the blood of Jesus
When we reach heaven, the heavenly beings will celebrate
The newcomers, redeemed people from earth

Zachariah 3:1-6
Earthly conceived righteousness is imperfect in the eyes of God
It’s filthy and unacceptable
Nobody can enter the holy place wearing filthy garments
Devil will always accuse us when we wear filthy garnets
They are a disruption to the heavenly party
Only those with heavenly garments of righteousness will survive

Mt 22:1
We have been invited to the banquet of Jesus Christ
The function is due any time, Jesus’s call is impromptu
Jesus is the owner and giver of the wedding gown
It cannot be counterfeited, designer is the Holy Spirit
All of us in the world wear the same gown
It is the one that brings us together, our identity

Colossians 3:12
Our earthly garments have special prescriptions on how to care for them
Even laundry cannot be done outside the prescriptions
When prescriptions are ignored, quality of the garments may deteriorate
Our robe of salvation requires special care,
Love, heart of compassion, kindness, lowliness, meekness,
Long-suffering, forbearing one another, and forgiving each other

All Christians must posses the robe of righteousness
The robe cannot be given from any other source, only Jesus
We must allow Jesus to have his way in us and clothe us
Without the robe of righteousness, we’ll not enter heaven
But perish in eternal lake of fire with satan
Ever cry, gnash teeth in pain without peace forever

Kenya is ready with alternatives to polythene carrier bags

On 28th February 2017, the Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Natural resources issued the Gazette notice No. 2356, banning the use, manufacture and importation of all plastic bags used for commercial and household packaging. The Cabinet Secretary exercised powers conferred under section 3 and 86 of the Environmental Management and Co-ordination Act (EMCA Cap 387). The gazette notice notified the public that this ban will take effect from 6th month from the date of the notice, that is from 28th August 2017 .

This ban on plastic bags has left many wondering what to do since plastic bags have been an intrinsic part of our day-to-day life, despite its adverse effects on the environment. The public is not aware on the alternatives that can be used when the plastic bags are withdrawn from use. But now that the ban is in force, the public is left with no option other than to choose appropriate alternatives to the polythene bag.

Getting an alternative for the polythene bag is not difficult. In our archives of indigenous practices when the polythene bag had not been invented, we used bags made from diverse materials to carry our goods. I wish to remind you of some of the alternatives to the polythene bag which you could consider as suitable options.

Canvas bags

Canvas is usually made of cotton or linen. Canvas is a durable plain-woven fabric used for making many items for which sturdiness is required. Items made from Canvas include sails, tents, marquees, backpacks and other items.

It is also popularly used by artists as a painting surface whereby they stretch it across a wooden frame. Being easy to write on makes canvas a prefered option for those interested in advertising different products and services. Canvas bags carrying advertisements are normally given out for free by corporates and if this is not checked, it may lead to many of these durable bags being disposed to the environment. Hence it would be a good idea to sell the Canvas bags for a small fee to ensure that people do not have excess of them at their disposal.

Canvas fabric is popular in making bags that are durable. These bags can be of different varieties, shapes and sizes. Canvas fabric is thicker than plastic bags. It is easier for an individual to buy the fabric and
stitch personal customized canvas bags at home. Customization could be in regard to shape, size, colours and accessories.

With the ban in place, it is therefore possible to create hundreds and thousands of jobs from local tailors making canvas bags for the people. Being more durable than polythene bags implies that people will reuse the bags and hence reduce negative impacts on the environment.

Denim bags

Denim is a sturdy cotton used to make durable clothing for use in harsh environments such as mining and surveying. This clothing is popularly refereed to as “Jeans”. Our old and worn out jeans can be reused by making bags that are tear-resistant and extremely durable. Hence use of denim bags is another creative way to go green. Denim is appropriate since it stretches, flows and is easy to stitch, handle and clean.

With the plastic bag ban in place denim bags present another employment stream as the people have these old tear resistant clothes. Local tailors who are innovative will come in handy to develop all manner of Denim bags for use by Kenyans. The jobs created will be many and spread throughout the country.

Jute bags

Jute is a long, soft, shiny vegetable fiber that can be spun into coarse, strong threads. Kenyan sisal plants have similar features and played a major economic role before the emergence of polythene bags. Jute bags are user friendly and can carry items to our place of work, to the market, shopping malls, grocery shop or even the beach. Communities have unique intricate weaving patterns and dyes which make these bags an admirable piece of art.

With the polythene bags ban in place, we expect that the sisal industry will be revamped. The demand for these fibres will lead to increased employment in sisal factories such as Vipingo in Kilifi. Areas that traditionally farmed the sisal plant may start farming of the same.

Its also expected that the popular Kenyan Kiondo will be revived. The women who have a weaving talent will have a new employment front to engage in. Hundreds of women groups throughout the country will be engaged in weaving Kiondo.

Paper bags

A paper bag is made out of paper. Paper bags are commonly used as shopping bags. They are eco-friendly, recyclable, foldable and easy to store. Although paper bags are not as strong as canvas or jute bags, they make an excellent alternative to plastic bags.

Paper bags are made from trees or other plants such as water hyacinth. Soft wood trees are used and are mainly grown in plantations. Those who justify the use of polythene bags argue against cutting of trees to make paper bags, which may increase carbon emissions by removing plants that absorb carbon dioxide gas.

Implementation of the recent polythene ban is likely to create jobs in those industries involved in paper manufacturing such as Pan-Paper Mills in Western Kenya. Farmers may also opt to grow the soft wood used for making paper and this may provide additional livelihood.

Water hyacinth bags

Water hyacinth contains fibre that is used to make diverse items including bags. Innovative artisans make the bags in various hues and styles, sometimes even with leather additions.

Kenya has over 10,000 hectares of water hyacinth in Lake Victoria. Water hyacinth has also invaded other wetlands. Hence Kenya has substantial supply of water hyacinth which could be used to make bags as alternatives for the polythene bags.

With the implementation of the polythene bag, we expect increased demand for the hyacinth bags. This will create jobs for the youth and women groups in different parts of the country. There are currently many individuals and groups involved in making water hyacinth bags especially around Lake Victoria and we expect them to have booming business.

Crochet bags

Crochet is a process of creating fabric by interlocking loops of thread, or strands of other materials using a crochet hook.

Crocheting is a skill that many Kenyans have mastered. Crochet bags are easy to make and cheap. All that the people need is some wool and a crochet needle. Hence many Kenyans can creatively make their own bag. This creativity has not been tapped since presence of polythene bags have reduced the demand for the crochet bags.

Implementation of the polythene bag ban will rekindle this innovative industry and many people of all ages will get livelihood opportunities.

Conclusion

The discussion above clearly demonstrate that Kenya has ready alternatives for the polythene bags that have been banned. These alternatives make use of the indigenous knowledge and practices resident in the Kenyan people.

The players in the plastic sector have argued that implementation of the polythene bags ban will lead to loss of jobs for Kenyans. However, one would wonder where these jobs are resident and how many people are involved. My opinion is that the jobs are resident in cities where the polythene manufacturers operate and involve very few people. It is evident from the discussion on the alternatives above that there will be more job opportunities created which will be spread to Kenyans of all ages throughout the country. Hence going for the alternatives to polythene bags is a better option for Kenya in terms of job opportunities and benefits to the environment.

Sandwich in cloth wrapper is fancier than in polythene bag

Kenya has banned use of polythene carrier bags. It is important to note that the carrier bags are of different sizes and their uses vary. For instance, most of us carry sandwiches for breakfast or lunch. normally, the easy way to carry the sandwich is by use of a polythene bag, normally the flimsies.

Unfortunately, most of us harbour littering values. The moment one is done with the sandwich, there is no care where the polythene bag ends. Its thrown anywhere, after all the County Government cleaners will clear that mess. Imagine in a school with 1000 students, how many polythene bags are thrown to the environment? And for a county like Nairobi with over 500 schools, this waste could be overwhelming.

From 28th August 2017, the polythene carrier bags and wrappers will be no more. How will you carry your sandwich hygienically?

The sandwich cloth wrapper is an ideal alternative to the polythene bag. It is made of cloth that is a readily available material and is reusable. The wrapper comes in different shapes and sizes. Surprisingly it can serve as a food mat when spread and as a food wrapper when folded.

The polythene bags manufacturers have complained of loss of jobs when the recently published polythene bags ban is implemented. But we need to appreciate that a new economic front is being opened up to innovatively replace the polythene bag. Making of the sandwich wrap can employ equally many people as the polythene carrier bags sector. This comes with new innovative designs that will attract new skills from Kenyans.

Surely, why should we hinder eco-friendly innovations from Kenyans that also rid our country of the polythene bags menace? Imagine the many colors and designs of sandwich wrappers that will hit the Kenyan market when the ban is implemented. I am very anxious to see these innovations and the thousands of new jobs that will be created.

Kenya free of polythene bags is possible

The world produces about five trillion plastic bags every year. Globally, every second 160, 000 plastic bags are used. In Kenya we use 24 million of these otherwise called carry-home bags every month. Of all the plastic the world consumes, only one to three percent of it is recycled. Plastic is here to stay; it is not bio-degradable. It takes around 700 years for the material to start breaking up, and even then it does not decompose or degrade to be absorbed by nature; it photo-grades(breaks up into little toxic bits of itself)
Plastic bags came into being in the 1960s and were introduced in the American supermarkets in the 70s with the rest of the world taking cue there on. The bags are convenient to use; they are light, cheap to manufacture and resistant to degradation. Nevertheless, these same properties have contributed to the proliferation of the bags in the environment posing a big challenge to solid waste management. But are we better off without these carriers?
A 2005 research by NEMA revealed that there were then 176 plastic manufacturing companies in Kenya worth Ksh. 88 billion and providing 60,000 jobs. The plastic products—most of which are plastic bags—churned out for our use by this industry end up permanently in the environment; they do not decompose. One major resultant effect of the bags’ nature is clogging of drainage systems: This causes flooding and formation of puddles that provide bleeding grounds for mosquitoes and consequently malaria—that according to the Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation kills 30,000 people annually. When ingested by animals, plastic bags cause their eventual death; burning the bags releases toxic fumes that have been associated with various types of cancer while if thrown away—which is a common practice—the bags litter our landscape.
We need to check the manufacture and usage of plastic bags.
To echo the late Professor Wangari Maathai, “The plastic bags we have in Kenya are so flimsy that millions of them only get used once before being thrown away, you see them in the trees, in the hedges and on the ground…” Kenya banned the manufacture, import and use of polythene carrier bags on 28th February 2017 in order to protect the environment.
The ban is a follow-up of extensive consultations with the stakeholders in the plastic sector. Earlier in 2007, a ban was imposed to check plastics below 30 microns.
The onus to reduce—if not eradicate—use of plastic bags in our country is on all of us. The world is going green and the route there starts at eliminating the substances that pollute our environment-plastic bags being among the most obnoxious. At the individual level, we need to reduce the dependence on these bags to “carry stuff” home. We should reuse the ones we already have when we go shopping and seek environment-friendly carriers such as cotton cloth bags, paper bags, canvas bags, sisal bags, papyrus bags and buyers/shoppers own shopping bags.
……
The penalty for breach of this ban is stipulated under Section 144 of the Environmental Management and Cordination Act Cap 387, which is imprisonment for a term of not less than one (1) year but not more than four (4) years or a fine of not less than 2 Million but not more than 4 Million or to both such fine and imprisonment.

It’s about Jesus Christ

image

The gospel is not about us, but Jesus Christ
Preachers and believers only proclaim Christ
Salvation cannot be found anywhere else, but in Jesus Christ (2Cor 4:1-7)
Jesus Christ is the image of our invisible, living God
He died for us, carried our sins away
Eternal life hinge on the blood of Christ
No one can get eternal life but through Jesus

We are Christ servants
Our mandate is to tell others about the love of Christ
Telling people what He is capable of doing
We should not commend ourselves but Jesus Christ
We do not take pride about the many followers
All power and honor belong to Christ
When we uphold His name, He pulls many to Himself

Jesus was there from the beginning
Jesus knew his roadmap and milestones to save the world
Jesus sat in the heavenly panel that decided to create man
He knew man would sin, that the devil was there
When man was made, rulership was given to him, not to satan
We must therefore give honor to Christ
He is the only hope for sinners

Satan wants to separate us from God
The God we know and believe in
So that God could leave us and satan would have his way
Jesus is the way to heaven
He is the bridge connecting us to God
We cannot reach heaven if not through him

Great names are given to some people on earth,
Great earthly names are inconsequential without Jesus
There is no other name above that of Jesus (Phil 2:9)
You need Jesus to make your name great
We need Jesus more than anything else

Believe in your heart, confess with your mouth and you will be saved
Confession is about Jesus and what he is able to do
We need to call His name when in need of anything
The blind will see, deaf will hear, sick will be healed, sinners will be saved
We need to speak about Jesus in everything we do, as our first action
We alone cannot make it,
With Jesus everything is possible