By Isaac Akugizibwe
KIU, Main Campus - KIU Environment Students Association, in partnership with the End Plastic Pollution Initiative, have waged war against plastic pollution in KIU and the surrounding communities.
During the launch of the ‘Plastic-Free Campus Program’ on 10th March 2021 at KIU, metallic dustbins were donated to vendors and business owners in and around the university to mark the beginning of the war against plastic pollution.
According to Pius Mugarura, a Youth Co-ordinator and Moblizer, End Plastic Pollution Initiative, the Environmental Student’s Association of KIU was the most appropriate group at KIU that would help promote the idea of fighting plastic pollution. He says that being a student of KIU, and the fact that the End Plastic Pollution Initiative is an idea of a KIU Alumni, convinced them to launch the Plastic-Free Campus Program at the university.
The Plastic-Free Campus program is an initiative started by the ‘Break Free from Plastic’ movement, a global campaign envisioning a future free from plastic pollution.
‘’We started with Kampala International University because it is our society and it is always better to start from home and expand gradually. Also, because the idea of our initiative started with a KIU Alumni which really makes us feel at home, but most importantly it is campuses like KIU that we are targeting to work with,’’ Pius said.
He added that the environment students of KIU were very supportive and willing to do whatever it would take when the idea of fighting plastic pollution was introduced to them. He said that their support helped the initiative to successfully join the rest of the world to fight against plastic pollution in and around school premises through the ‘Plastic-Free Campus' Program.
‘’Once we got the consent of Environment Students Association of KIU, we organized a seminar where we made presentations about the Plastic-Free Campus program after which we were able to launch it for the first time in Uganda,’’ he explained.
Joyce Gwokyalya, the Youth Ambassador for the KIU Environment Students Association, expressed gratitude towards the 'End Plastic Pollution' Initiative and ‘Break Free from Plastic’ for opening their eyes and motivating them to participate actively in the conservation of the environment. She said the launch of the Plastic-Free Campus Program will help boost their visibility in the University and surrounding communities.
‘’This initiave was inspirational. It opened our eyes and now most of the members want to actively participate in the conservation of the environment. I think the launch will really help boost our visibility in the university and its neighborhood to continue promoting a plastic-free campus community,’’ Joyce admitted.
The recipients of the metallic dustbins said the Pollution-Free Campus Program will help improve sanitation at KIU and its surroundings.
Rose Namagembe, a shop attendant at KIU, said receiving a dustbin was relieving because it would help improve sanitation around her work space. Ismael Abdul, a wholesale trader operating outside KIU, said the metallic dustbin will help stop people from throwing plastic bottles into trenches around the university.
The Plastic-Free Campus Program has so far moved into 29 schools in Uganda and will continue to attract participation of other universities in the country. Schools and universities play a special role in developing the mindset, awareness and habits of future citizens and leaders.
Read more about the End Plastic Pollution Initiative - https://endplasticpollution.blogspot.com
Read more about PFC at http://breakfreefromplastic.org