By Maria Nassiwa
A campaign to abolish polythene bags commonly known as “Kaveera” in Uganda has been launched under the theme; “tuve ku kaveera”.
The campaign, led by the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA), Vivo Energy and NBS Television, is aimed to sensitize the masses on the dangers of polythene bags in our environment.
The campaign has been launched by the state minister for water and environment Goretti Kitutu who called upon the media’s support in protection of wetlands
“As the State Minister for water and environment, I will not forget to mention other challenges where I want media to support us like protection of wetlands,” said Kitutu.
According to Daniel Okello director of health in KCCA, says KCCA spends 7 billion shillings annually on waste collection and 5% of garbage collected are polythene bags (Kaveera) and these bags cause blockage of the drainage system and hence causing floods.
Earlier on in July 2009, the then minister for Finance, Ms Syda Bbumba, during her budget speech, imposed a total ban on plastic bags.
A moratorium of six months was given to the general public as transition period during which arrangements where to be made, find alternative packing materials that are environment friendly.
Government argued that the polythene bags were blocking drainage systems and degrading the soil. It announced the ban and prohibited the importation and local manufacture of polyethylene bags. However, the ban was not effective.
In as much as polythene bags have different uses, Ugandans overly depend on the carrier bags which have adverse impact on the environment thus this campaign is intended to help Ugandans make informed decisions on polythene bags use.