UNEP Goodwill Ambassador for Kenya Launches Initiative To reduce Food Waste

Food wastage has consequences on hunger and poverty, nutrition, health, income generation and economic growth in Kenya.

To alleviate this problem, Suzanna Owiyo, recently appointed UNEP’s National Goodwill Ambassador, has come up with an initiative known as “Soko Bila Waste - Every little thing Counts”, aimed at sensitizing the vendors, consumers and farmers on the importance of reducing food wastage from the various levels of the distribution chain.

The initiative supports UNEP’s global food waste campaign, THINK.EAT.SAVE — Reduce Your Foodprint.  To mark this year’s World Environment Day, Soko Bila Waste invited personalities to Marikiti Market for an exercise which will see them trade places with vendors as a way of educating both vendors and consumers on how to preserve the available food and better use the “ugly” vegetables.

Through Soko Bila Waste, the different sectors will be educated and sensitized on the need for food waste reduction at the various levels of the food value chain, especially the markets, which contribute to more than 2000 tonnes of organic waste per day.

This will also help cut down the amount of food that goes to waste on-farm, in-transit to markets, within markets, restaurants and in the kitchen, and is key in addressing food security.

The “Soko Bila Waste - Every little thing counts” is a two-year project that will be implemented in different phases. The first phase will be targeting markets, followed by restaurants, households and farms, where several tonnes of food is wasted daily with post-harvest losses running up to 15 to 20 percent of the total cereals production and even higher for perishable products due to poor storage and other inefficient farm infrastructure. This initiative will help identify the problems that lead to food wastage and how they can be dealt with.

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