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Anglicans help tackle food, plastic waste in Kenya

The Anglican Church of Kenya has been tackling the issue of food security through its development wing, the Anglican Development Services (ADS). Food waste is a real problem in Kenya. According to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, growers lost over 1.9 million tonnes of food in 2017, worth $1.5 billion USD (approximately £1.2 billion GBP).
Nicholas Pande, Project Officer at the Council of Anglican Provinces in Africa, told the Anglican Alliance, that “every year, Kenya loses about a third of the food it produces through post-harvest losses and food wastage by consumers who buy more than they need”.
In 2017, farmers in Kenya lost $290 million USD worth of maize to post-harvest wastage, largely due to rodents, poor handling contribution and aflatoxin, a toxin produced by fungi due to exposure to moisture.
The Anglican Church of Kenya is trying to build the capacity of communities by training them in post-harvest management and storage. The Church has been promoting the use of a particular type of storage bag that is recommended for storing maize, so that it is not affected by aflatoxin. They are training farmers on sustainable agronomic practices and food preservation.
Plastic waste has also been high on the agenda in Kenya, and in 2017 the government of Kenya banned plastic bags. However, plastic bottles and plastic packaging are still in production, meaning there is still a lot of plastic waste being discarded into landfills in Nairobi, and into the Indian Ocean.
The Anglican Church of Kenya has been involved locally, sensitising people to managing waste and disposing of it with sensitivity to the environment. Nicholas Pande, Project Officer at the Council of Anglican Provinces in Africa, says that “the Church has always approached it from the angle that we have the responsibility to steward the environment, so don’t waste irresponsibly; don’t waste food because there are people who need that food and it’s a privilege for us to have food. So the Church has had the messaging across the congregations that waste is not godly.”

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