NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 17 – Kakamega Homeboyz skipper and former Kenyan international Allan Wanga is looking to follow in the footsteps of Manchester United forward and England international Marcus Rashford in using his platform and status as a football star to push for social change.
While Rashford successfully campaigned for the United Kingdom government to change its mind and extend its free school meals voucher scheme over the summer holidays, Wanga has joined a campaign urging Parliament to approve a petition to withdraw toxic chemical pesticides from the Kenyan market.
The petition was brought before parliament last year by Uasin Gishu Women Representative Gladys Boss Shollei calling for the urgent withdrawal of harmful pesticides from the market because of the serious implications they pose to health and environment.
The petition is currently before the Agriculture Committee in Parliament and the end game will depend on its recommendations.
“This is something that I am really passionate about and we have seen the kind of harm that these harmful pesticides can do not only to us but our future generations. We need to safeguard our health and these are some of the things we need to look out for. Harmful pesticides result in harmful food for our people,” Wanga told Capital Sport.
He added; “I want to use my position as a footballer to impart social change to the country. We have seen what Rashford managed to achieve with his campaign in England and this is a wake up call to all of us to use our platforms for the good of our fellow citizens.”
Wanga says he has been part of the campaign since February and has been using his social media accounts to advocate for the petition to go through.
“Urge your MP to support the petition. Engage them on Twitter, Facebook or however you can,” Wanga said in one of his posts.
“32pc of the active ingredients registered for use in Kenya, are not allowed in Europe. Most of the pesticides we use in Kenya, are imported from Europe. We are growing organic food for export, but are seemingly less concerned about the quality of food made available to our own people. This is not acceptable,” Shollei said in a statement as she tabled her petition.
Wanga now hopes that adding his voice to the campaign supported by the Route to Food NGO will bring about more attention to the dangers posed by the increased use of harmful pesticides by Kenyan farmers, so as to safeguard the health and wellbeing of Kenyans.