How 'Buy a Bag for Baffa' for £5 will help plastic pollution
Your donation (of any amount) will enable the AKIFA Foundation - working in partnership with Sustainable St Albans - to purchase and distribute 500 reusable bags to people in BAFFA town, Pakistan. It will kickstart an environmental education and health project on the harms of plastic pollution, and help build clean water wells.
We suggest £5 donation to buy one bag for the residents of Baffa PLUS it will buy related education awareness in schools and the local community!
On their recent humanitarian trip to Baffa in Pakistan, ex-mayor and mayoress of St Albans, Iqbal and Farhat Zia realised the problem of plastic pollution was an even bigger challenge than they had previously understood.
They recently set up the AKIFA foundation to support 'People, Planet, & Wellbeing' with a focus on Iqbal's family's town of Baffa.
Farhat said: "Towards the end of our trip, as the floods abated, we stayed in Baffa for several weeks and when I went shopping I saw everyone buying food in single-use plastic bags. Nobody gave it a thought - despite plastics being one of the biggest contaminants of the local river.
"The local river was littered with thousands of plastic bags and bottles."
Practical local solutions
Farhat said "I just thought; why not start to provide practical solutions like reusable shopping bags - give them out to local people. This would have a visual impact, encourage the use of reusable products and start the conversation and education about the environmental damage plastic bags and plastic bottles are doing."
Reusable Bags * Educational Awareness * Clean Water Wells
The AKIFA Foundation will use its local networks to distribute the bags to families in Baffa - each bag will come with an information leaflet explaining the initiative - and its connection to St Albans.
The AKIFA Foundation has partnered with Sustainable St Albans to purchase 500 canvas shopping bags - strong enough to hold a family's shopping.
Sustainable St Albans is a key partner in this project - and are kick starting our effort with their generous donation! We now need your help to reach £1,000 to pay for 500 bags, education sessions, and a contribution towards the water wells project.
Information Leaflets explain:
- the problems of single-use plastic and impact on the main river
- The three 'R's Reduce; Reuse; Recycle.
- Ways to go forward to reduce plastic pollution.
About Akifa Foundation
Iqbal and Farhat Zia are the ex-mayor and mayoress of St Albans and founders of the Akifa Foundation, named after Iqbal's mother. The AKIFA Foundation is in the process of registering in the UK as a charity - and is currently awaiting registration.
Humanitarian Trips to Baffa in Pakistan.
The couple have just returned from a humanitarian six-month long trip to Iqbal's home-town of Baffa in Pakistan. On this trip they worked with local people to help those affected by the 2022 flooding and poverty - building a network of local people distributing food, drink, mosquito nets and medicines for displaced homeless people. It was on this trip that Farhat realised the plastic pollution piling up in local rivers was a complex problem: and one that needed education and awareness building, AND clean water provision.
School education campaign about single-use plastics
While Farhat was in Baffa she spoke to the local headteacher who agreed to work together to provide education sessions on plastic pollution and awareness of environmental and health hazards of single-use plastics - as well as awareness of the three 'R's: Reduce; Reuse; Recyle.