To mark St. Patrick’s Day, Ireland’s Ministry of Tourism in 2009 launched an Annual Global Greening initiative. The global campaign sees some of the world’s most famous attractions and iconic images going ‘Green’ on 17, March 2018 during Ireland’s National Day celebrations.
The 9th Annual Global Greening initiative will span mainland Europe, Great Britain, North America, Australia, United Arabs Emirates, South Africa, and Kenya.
In Kenya, the Embassy of Ireland and KCB Bank have partnered in a ‘Greening’ initiative that is intended to bring attention to the plight of lions in Kenya and the conservation efforts being employed to protect Simba (Lion).
The campaign will be launched on Thursday 15th March 2018 at Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) Headquarters in Lang’ata in partnership with Ocean Sole, KWS and Kenya Tourism Board. The initiative will also bring to focus the possibilities of recycling ocean waste in Kenya.
As part of the campaign, the Embassy has commissioned the development of a life-size lion. Ocean Sole, a local conservation entrepreneurship Non-Governmental Organization, sculpted the life-sized lion using flip-flops that have been washed up on the coasts and rivers of Kenya.
The Flip-Flop lion will be named Taji, a Kiswahili word for Crown. Here are some of Taji’s vital statistics:
- 1,204 flip-flops were recycled to create Taji;
- 20kg of recycled Styrofoam was used for his inner structure (recycled from old shipping containers);
- It took 3 weeks to produce Taji;
- Five Senior Artisans were involved in the making of Taji;
- It took a total of 605 hours to complete Taji.
Taji will be donated to the Kenya National Park where it will be displayed along the Safari Walk and will be accessible to all visitors.
The number of lions in Kenya has continued to dwindle with the current population estimated at 1,970 – hence the importance of efforts to raise awareness about this threatened species.
The purpose of Ireland’s Global ‘Greening’ Campaign is to bring attention to Ireland’s relationship with its diaspora communities and across the world. It is fully aligned with KCB’s sustainability initiative to recycle and create awareness of opportunities in greening the environment. The initiative is also broadly aligned to Sustainable Development Goals (Goal 6 on clean water and sanitation; Goal 12 on sustainable consumption and production; Goal 13 on climate action; Goal 14 on life below water; and Goal 17 on partnerships).
In the past, the Embassy of Ireland has partnered with other stakeholders to raise awareness of the plight of some other endangered animals in Kenya. The focus is on ‘Greening’ the Big Five animals and the conservation efforts being employed to protect these species.
In 2016, in conjunction with the National Museum and KWS, the Embassy ‘Greened’ ‘Ahmed’ the iconic elephant in the National Museum. In 2017, the statue of the mama and baby rhinoceroses at the National Park in Nairobi was ‘Greened’, which helped raise awareness of the plight of the Rhinoceros in the country.
The event will be officiated by Cabinet Secretary Tourism & Wildlife Najib Balala, Ireland Minister of the Office of Public Works Kevin Boxer Moran, T.D., and KCB Group Chief Operating Officer Samuel Makome.