Dr Daniel Babikwa, NEMA’s Director of District Support, Coordination and Public Education says the ban has hit a snag on account of people’s reluctance to observe the law proscribing Kaveera.
“Ugandans keep buying single use plastics even when they are warned about their dangers and even they are encouraged to use eco friendly alternatives. The culture here is never to observe laws and that has presented as a real challenge,” Babikwa says.
“Single use plastics have also been hard to ban because of their pervaded use across the country. Their cheap pricing is attractive to people at rank and file level in both rural and urban areas. The manufactures, needless to add, are encouraged to produce more, whilst those who market eco-friendly alternatives have faced long odds as people dread the added costs that come with using them.”
For good measure, the strong Kaveera manufacturing and trading lobby has also played havoc and frustrated the law proscribing the use of polythene bags.
“There is a law in place, but there are strong interests on the manufacturing side, bent on growing their businesses at whatever cost. With support from some circles in government, it has been a tall order making the law bear down on them,” Babikwa says.
Nuwagira echoes Babikwa’s sentiments.
“One of the reasons, NEMA has been facing challenges in enforcing the ban is the fact that plastic manufacturers have continued to protest what they supposedly say is the stringent nature of the law.
To that end, they have protested and made appeals to the government; contending that the ban interferes with their businesses. It is the reason, there was recall in the enforcement ban that was registering success in 2015,” Nuwagira explains.
“The manufactures give conflicting figures on their recycling rates to build their mileage with government.”
Environmental experts say environmental law enforcing agencies, specifically NEMA will have to get tough if progress is to be made.“There have to be legal consequences for those who violate the ban. By refusing to comply, they not only endanger the environment, but also the lives of other Ugandans,” Environmental management specialist, Duncan Mugisha says.“If NEMA gets tough and strict in its implementation of the Finance Act, there will be headway. Industrialists that manufacture polythene should be taken to task and pay heavy fines if they violate the ban,” Environmental scientist -Edmond Wangota says.Wangota adds that supermarkets and retail outlets that supply polythene carrier bags in violation of the ban ought to be litigated.Babikwa says NEMA can carry out enforcements but one of the proper approaches in the wake of the Presidents directive will have to be education.“People will have to be brought to terms with the fact that the item they are so partial to is dangerous.”NEMA has embarked on a Public education drive on the dangers of Kaveera. One of the components involves prevailing upon manufacturers to heed the ban as a means of contributing to sustainable environment management in the country,” Nuwagira adds.“The usuage of Polycarbonate plastics should be banned outrightly. Polycarbonate plastics such as water bottles, baby bottles, plastic tableware such as plates and cups and containers for storing and reheating foods contain a harmful industrial chemical known as BPA or bisphenol.
I have more than five years’ working experience in the media industry.
I wield a skilful pen as a writer and Iam presently one of the most proficient features writers at the "Features Desk" of the “New Vision”- Uganda’s leading premier Newspaper.
At the “New Vision”, I have given a good account of myself as a features writer and that has shown in my well thought out and deeply researched human interest stories, which have been published on topics such as maternal and child health, HIV/AIDS, teenage pregnancies, climate change, the importance of cultural customs, rising sexual harassment in Uganda’s health sector; amongst other topics.
Several of my standout feature stories have been published in the "Big Read" section of the New Vision.
For good measure, I also write for my personal blog called MasaabaChronicles.com.
Before I joined the New Vision, I had worked a broadcast Journalist with Signal FM radio in Mbale, Eastern Uganda.
My weekly show packed a punch and was very popular with the youth demographic in Eastern Uganda.
It was an informative and educative programme that essentially encouraged the youth to embrace initiatives that bring a value to their lives.
I am also into worthy causes.
Last year, I was awarded a medal and certificate for my participation in the Journey of Hope marathon walk; a walk whose set objective was to reverse the flow of child trafficking and unsafe migration from Karamoja-in the North-East of Uganda.
The 18 day- 467 walk began in Kampala-Uganda’s capital city and ended in Napak-Karamoja.
Iam also into marathon running for worthy causes.
For the last two years, I have excelled in the MTN Marathon.
I was the best runner from the New Vision and have gotten medals for my efforts.
My professional goal is to be able to open new horizons for myself as a multi media Journalist and to spread my wings as a writer; beyond my current environment.
I want to be able to bring my writing skills to bear with other platforms.
I believe writing further beyond my current environment will sharpen my creative writing skills for the better.
Playing basketball-Several medals and Certificates recieved for playing the game
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