The Environmental Impact of Campaigns by Abdikadir Aden

Jan 22nd, 2013 | By | Category: Youth Blog

Posters on a wall  Campaign posters on a wall (A. Aden)

Waste from posters  Waste from posters in the street (A. Aden)

It is campaign period here in Kenya and the streets look beautiful in white printed posters with current politicians and hopeful politicians in suits. Each aspirant wants to be noticed and heard in the loudest voice. From the printing of mass posters and stickers to street banners and playing music in their SUVs, they will try all possible means for their campaigns.

Fresh leadership is needed indeed, but that should not mean that we neglect our immediate surroundings.

From the old to the young all want to vie for available positions in the new government. None of them seem to care much for our environment when in the United States of America President Barack Obama’s campaign team ensured that they used the latest available technology. From sending text messages to phone calls and even sending of tweets, they were very conservative on environmental issues.

Things are different here in Kenya. The target audiences mostly reside in rural areas unlike in the US where everyone is in a State. Imagine campaigning in a location with no electricity and no network access. In fact, it is a headache. This encourages the politicians to take advantage to increase their publicity. The parliament that could pass laws has been dissolved and thus the power of most authorities is just low.

They forget that their first task is to hire private companies to clean up the mess when they report to office. Few hired individuals have any respect for any persons’ property whether private or public. They pin posters all over. When the owners discover this has been done, they get mad and pluck off the posters sending back it to the streets as waste.

When holding public rallies, they use big public address systems that generate a lot of noise. Noise above 8 decibels is harmful to the hearing system of human beings. The rallies should be regulated and the noise generated kept at a low and safe level.

I believe there is a need for us to take the lead and campign peacefully with the best technologies to protect our environment. We should encourage good practices in our promotional materials, and we should also promote peaceful elections. Lets stay in a peaceful and a habitable environment.

By Abdikadir Aden, Volunteer Guest Blogger

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