In Summary

In April 2016, the National Environment Management Authority announced the implementation of the ban on polythene bags of less than 30 microns (mainly used for conveyance of goods and liquids). However, it is yet to be seen whether the law will catch up with continued abusers

KABAROLE.

Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga has blamed smugglers who bring into the country polythene bags from Kenya for failing Uganda government to implement the ban.

She said the government passed a law stopping the importation of polythene bags, aka kaveera, into the country and also stopped companies from producing them locally.

Ms Kadaga was addressing residents and leaders of Rwenzori sub-region at Boma Grounds in Fort Portal last week at the 4th Climate Change week organised by Kabarole Research and Resource Centre (KRC).

“When we stopped the importation of kaveera, Kenyans used the opportunity to feed the market by smuggling polythene bags into the country,” she said, adding: “In Uganda we are good at making laws but the implementation is still a big challenge, the government needs to implement the Act.”
She encouraged people to plant more trees and also said that she will push for the enactment of a policy where the government will support tree planting in the country.

“I implore every student in the country to plant at least 10 trees per season to kick start the fight against environmental degradation,” she said.

Ms Kadaga pledged to support people with new innovations that can produce environmentally friendly products such as bio-gas, charcoal briskets, cooking stoves and others under the Uganda Innovation Fund.
The Speaker also unveiled government plan to invest in carbon credit where whoever protects natural forests is paid as an appreciation for protecting environment.

Mr Julius Mwanga, the executive director KRC, appealed to government to allocate more money to the fight against environmental destruction by implementing the tree planting campaign.

The Fort Portal Municipality mayor, the Rev Willy Kintu Muhanga, said his administration has already embarked on planting trees alongside all roads in the town.

Former Finance minister Syda Bbumba, in her 2009 Budget speech, announced a total ban on the importation and production of all polythene materials arguing that they pose a danger to the environment and violate citizens rights to a clean environment.

But close to six years, government had not implemented the ban after the business community protested the move. As such, the consumers continue to use and litter polythene bags.

Implementation
In April 2016, the National Environment Management Authority announced the implementation of the ban on polythene bags of less than 30 microns (mainly used for conveyance of goods and liquids). However, it is yet to be seen whether the law will catch up with continued abusers.