Plastic waste ship takes pollution message to Lake Victoria

The Flipflopi, the world’s first sailing boat (dhow) made entirely from plastic waste collected from towns and beaches in Kenya, is headed to Lake Victoria to raise awareness of the pollution plaguing the region’s most critical freshwater ecosystem.

Nearly 18 months after the Flipflopi made its first historic journey from Lamu, Kenya, to Zanzibar, Tanzania, the world’s first 100% recycled dhow is all set for another historic voyage, this time to Lake Victoria, announced UN Environment.

Over a four-week period in early 2021, the Flipflopi will sail around Lake Victoria, Africa’s largest freshwater lake, highlighting the impact of pollution on this vital ecosystem, and engaging governments, business leaders, community leaders, conservationists, and students on viable solutions for the pollution menace.

“The purpose of our next expedition is to take our message ‘upstream’, from our coastal home in Lamu, to our brothers and sisters across Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda, who are living on the fringes of Lake Victoria. Our hope is that this expedition will bring much-needed attention to and action on the catastrophic pollution plaguing the most critical freshwater ecosystem in the region,” said Ali Skanda, co-founder of the Flipflopi Project.

Lake Victoria has been under increased pressure from mismanaged waste and pollution that has severely impacted the health of communities and threatened the survival of the lake. A study conducted on the southern shore confirmed that plastic was found in 20 percent of fish, writes the statement.

Accompanying the expedition is a petition calling for all East African Community Member States to reach a regional consensus and take a leadership stance by adopting legislation to address single-use plastics and ban non-essential plastics.

Image courtesy of UN Environment

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