By Nana Ama Gyapong
The Director-General of the National Environment Management Authority in Kenya, Mamo B. Mamo has stated that research of abattoirs within Nairobi indicated that livestock that were slaughtered had plastics in their rumen.
Kenya, in 2017 grabbed headlines when it banned single-use plastic bags. That was preceded by the country’s decision to sign on to the Clean Seas initiative, making it one of the first African nations to commit to limiting plastic in its waterways. Explaining how it was done, the Environment Director-General, Mamo B. Mamo said the initiative was taken up following findings from research that indicated that livestock that were being slaughtered also had plastics in their rumen. The rumen of an animal, also known as a paunch, is the largest stomach compartment in ruminants and the larger part of the reticulorumen, which is the first chamber in the alimentary canal of ruminant animals.
Mr. Mamo B. Mamo also stated that “because there were no landfills, what we had were just dumping sites which were all over the country, especially in major cities and the situation was very bad because people started complaining. After all, plastics were blocking drainage systems when it rains it floods, livestock digestion amongst others”.
”During one of our research projects we looked at abattoirs within Nairobi and we found out that from every livestock or rather from 5 cows slaughtered, 4 had plastics in their rumen”.
Animals that accidentally ate plastics suffer and often die as a result of it. Swallowed plastic filled the stomach and not surprisingly this reduces the feeling of hunger, obtains less energy, and weakened the animals.
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Below is the full interview;