World Environment Day (WED), 5th June 2021
Every year, on 5th June, the world celebrates World Environment Day. Lafarge Ecosystems marked the Day on 4th June 2021, with a series of Conservation actions across Bamburi’s quarries.
Some of the actions included geotechnical works in South Quarry mainly cliff sloping, land preparation and feature creations for quarry safety and initial planting. The other action was weed eradication activities in Bamburi’s South quarry ecosystem and Bamburi Forest Trails. The sites are being restored to coastal indigenous forests of grasslands, forests, wetlands and rocky outcrops. The event ended with 2 trees planted at the Butterfly Conservation Centre to mark official closure of the celebration.
This year, UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration 2021-2030 was launched through a virtual event held in Pakistan, hosted by UNEP and UN Decade partners. Lafarge Eco Systems (LES) has always been in the forefront spearheading Bamburi Cement’s rehabilitation agenda and reviving degraded ecosystems thus making Bamburi and LafargeHolcim a global partner and active player in ecosystem restoration. Some LES staff joined the rest of the world in attending virtual launch events hosted across the world. Consequently, individuals, organizations and governments all over the world are joining hands in this global rally to help prevent, halt and reverse the degradation of ecosystems.
In this years’ World Environment Day, the LES team was joined by Bamburi Cement's People, Organization and Sustainability Director Irene Naibo and Lafarge Eco Systems Chief Operating Officer Peter Mbaru, and after a Health & Safety induction all went all out with hoes to uproot weeds like Pluchea dioscoridis (an invasive species in the emerging ecosystems), collecting invasive litter and throwing them in the thickets under the direction of Paul Opere – the site event leader.
With this show of passion and determination, weeds and invasive plant species were manually removed by the team to create spaces for growth of diverse and important plant species in the rehabilitated ecosystems. In her remarks during this exercise, Irene reiterated the importance of conservation and encouraged the team to keep up the passion and good work, despite the current challenges arising from the effects of Covid -19 pandemic.
Figures 1, 2 &3. Irene Naibo (POSD) sweats it out cutting, uprooting and disposing Pluchea dioscoridis in south quarry ecosystems during World Environment Day actions held in LES.
Every year, LES, under Rehabilitation, Ecosystems Maintenance and Biodiversity actions clears invasive species and weeds covering 15-20 Ha of land to open up spaces for wildlife grazing fields and planting of indigenous trees for environmental integrity and sustainability. Weeds/invasive plants are a big challenge in ecological restoration as they suppress or kill important species, hindering them from access to resources in restored landscapes. LES therefore controls invasive species to allow for natural succession of useful plants as well as growth of economic and biodiversity plants.
Figure 4. Paul Opere (front left) - Rehabilitation and Aquatic Resources Officer leads the South Quarry team in the WED exercise.
Figure 5. David Koech, Operations Manager Keen Kleeners and Rose SSali (MOM Training School Manager/HR Business Partner) join in the exercise at Bamburi Forest Trails to mark WED 2021
On this day, Irene got the opportunity to engage COO-LES and the Restoration, Education and Ecosystems Manager (LES) on quarry treatment and techniques for ecosystems development and sustainability.
Figure 6. Peter Mbaru, COO LES takes Irene (POSD) through the ongoing landscaping works for quarry rehabilitation works. This year, LES has a target of 4 ha of quarry rehabilitation in South Quarry and 5 ha in Vipingo.
The WED exercise was concluded at the butterfly conservation site where Irene (POSD) and Peter Mbaru, (LES COO) planted a tree each to mark the day.
Figure 7. Albert Musando, Restoration, Education and Ecosystems Manager (LES), explains the restoration and biodiversity concepts about the trees (Ficus bubu and Albizia Sama).
Figure 8 & 9. Irene (POSD) and Peter Mbaru (LES-COO) plant trees (Ficus bubu and Albizia Saman) photos (2&3) at the butterfly conservation Centre in Haller Park to close the day.
Do not be left behind!! Be part of #GenerationRestoration. Plant a tree when you can; reduce, reuse and recycle plastics; minimize your energy consumption by switching off power when not in use, recover energy from your kitchen waste through manure/compost making. It is through these small unnoticeable practices that make a huge impact in healing the planet.
World Oceans Day, 8th June 2021
On the 8th June 2021, LES marked the World Ocean Day celebration by cleaning up non degradable solids from Mtopanga River that crosses Bamburi’s indigenous forest near the Central Quarry. The river drains its waters into the Indian Ocean. A total of 498.3kg of mixed solid wastes were collected that would end up in the ocean and affect the marine ecosystem.
Mtopanga River is a seasonal river that passes through heavily populated settlements of the Bamburi area carrying all kinds of wastes ranging from plastics, pharmaceuticals, clothes, bottles and foot wear. Cleaning this river helps reduce the ocean waste burden and improve species that solely depends on this riverine ecosystem for survival.
Figure 1: Mixed solid wastes incoming from unplanned settlements cross over to ocean some are trapped in Mtopanga River
Figure 2: Red line showing Mtopanga River crossing the Bamburi ecosystem. The riverine ecosystem has not been mined, and is under LES ecosystems maintenance actions.