Embassy of Ireland partners with KCB Bank for 2018 Greening Initiative

Kevin Boxer Moran #GreeningSimba
Irish Minister of State for OPW and Flood Relief Kevin "Boxer" Moran with a small scale version of Taji the Lion. Photo: Twitter/IrlEmbKenya

Ireland’s Ministry of Tourism’s 9th Annual Annual Global Greening initiative to mark St Patrick’s Day will again see some of the world’s most famous attractions and iconic images going ‘Green’ on 17 March.

Here in Kenya, the Embassy of Ireland has partnered with KCB Bank for a ‘Greening’ initiative designed to highlight the plight of Kenyan lions whose numbers have continued to decline with the current population estimated at 1,970.

The campaign, which will also focus in recycling ocean waste, will be launched on Thursday 15 March at the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) Headquarters in Lang’ata in partnership with Ocean Sole, KWS and Kenya Tourism Board.

As part of the campaign, the Embassy has commissioned a life-sized lion sculpture made from 1,204 flip-flops that have been washed up on the coasts and rivers of Kenya.

Named Taji, a Kiswahili word for Crown, the sculpture was made using 20kg of recycled Styrofoam for his inner structure which was recycled from old shipping containers. It took 605 hours and team of five senior artisans to create the model.

Taji will be donated to the Kenya National Park where it will be displayed along the Safari Walk.

In previous years, 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 the previous two years, the Embassy ‘Greened’ Ahmed the iconic elephant in the National Museum and the statue of the mama and baby rhinoceroses at the National Park in Nairobi.

The #GreeningSimba event will be officiated by Cabinet Secretary Tourism and Wildlife Najib Balala, Ireland Minister of the Office of Public Works Kevin “Boxer” Moran, T.D., and KCB Group Chief Operating Officer Samuel Makome.