Flipflopi, the world’s first recycled plastic sailing dhow has continued with its journey circumnavigating Lake Victoria, Africa’s largest freshwater ecosystem taking its vital message up-stream and calling for an end to unnecessary single-use plastic.
Setting sail on March,8, the dhow on Saturday arrived at Ggaba beach and aligned with the water and environment week supported by the Ministry of Water and Environment in a bid to bring the region’s attention to the need to conserve our waterways, protect livelihoods and save the environment.
“By sailing around the lake, we hope to inspire people to create their own waste-plastic innovations and adopt circular waste management solutions that help build greener businesses, whilst also taking plastic out of the environment,” said Ali Skanda, co-founder of the Flipflopi project and builder of the world’s first recycled plastic dhow.
“Together with communities across the Lake Victoria region we hope to bring awareness and innovative solutions to beat pollution and support a green recovery in East Africa.”
Lake Victoria, supporting 40 million East Africans symbolises the catastrophic effects of climate change, and has been under increased pressure from mismanaged waste and pollution, which threatens the health and livelihoods of communities.
A recent study estimated that 1 in 5 of the fish in Lake Victoria had ingested plastic. Another recent study ubiquitously recorded microplastics in surface waters in several sites of Lake Victoria.
At the heart of the plastic waste problem is the linear ‘take-make-dispose’ model of consumption, as products get manufactured, bought, used briefly, and then thrown away.
The Flipflopi project is an African initiative showcasing alternative uses of plastic waste and the possibilities of circular economy approaches.
Over a three-week period, Flipflopi will circumnavigate the lake from Kisumu, Kenya, to several locations in Uganda, finishing in Mwanza, Tanzania, to bring attention to the environmental problems affecting the lake, inspiring communities to adopt circular- waste solutions and facilitating cross-border discussions around how to beat pollution.
Flipflopi is being supported and joined by a set of key players including the Governments of Kenya,
Uganda and Tanzania, UNEP, The UK’s Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO),
the French Development Agency (AFD), EU, UN Live, as well as private sector including Africa’s
leading Law Firm, Anjarwalla and Khanna.