Happy Motivational Monday! What better way to start the week than reading a fantastic story of hard work and a fearless incredible African woman?
Today we are spotlighting Malawi’s environmental activist—whose campaign ended single plastic usage in Malawi.
Gloria Majiga-kamoto— is the Program Officer at the Centre for Environmental Policy and Advocacy. Majiga-kamoto advocates for reform and enhanced the ecological and natural resources management policy and legal framework through her work.
The 2019 YALI Mandela Washington Fellow—is a Malawian environment activist with half a decade of experience in environmental policy advocacy. She was recently honoured with the 2021 Goldman Environmental Prize for Africa—making her part of the six global winners of the prestigious award honouring grassroots environmental activists.
The mother of one battled some of Malawi’s most prominent plastic manufacturers to bring an end to single-use plastic. Coupled with other activists, Majiga-Kamoto—led a campaign that pressures the country’s authorities which eventually resulted in her groundbreaking success—a plastic ban in Malawi in July 2019. The national ban—involved the total prohibition of production, importation, and distribution of thin plastics in Malawi.
The Lengthy but worthy battle
In an interview published by CNN, the Goldman Environmental Prize for Africa recipient—shared how they (her and other activists) “organized serval marches—to the court and communities to document their experiences and challenges they encountered” because of problems caused by plastics.
Despite putting her own family at risk and feeling “a bit threatening,” Majiga-Kamoto’s hard work and advocacy led the Malawian government to shut
down three plastic firms in Malawi—in 2020.
Malawi is one of the many African countries battling the dangers of plastics. According to a recent study commissioned by the Malawian government--, an estimated 75,000 tons of plastics are produced in Malawi every year. At least 80% of that plastics are discarded after use.
The study also reveals that Malawi’s plastic will require 100 years to decompose while stating that Malawi produces more plastic waste per capita than any other country in sub-Saharan Africa.
This study has primarily overwhelmed the country’s disposal systems, one of the reasons why Majiga decided to go after the manufactures as livestock were struggling with plastic pollution, and livestock owners were losing their
Despite the ban, the implementation of the policy has been stalled. This is a result of the lengthy legal battle between the manufacturers, activists, and the government. Nevertheless, Majiga-Kamoto is far from letting it all sleep.
Beyond government action, the environmental activist—believes that the Malawian people have a significant role to play and “be aware of their own
contribution to the mess.”