Members of Parliament on the Natural Resources Committee have urged government to implement the ban on polythene bags commonly known as kavera.
Addressing the media on Wednesday, 06 September 2017, the Chairperson of the Committee, Hon. Alex Byarugaba said that National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) had failed on its part to implement the ban, even with the law in place.
“Parliament enacted a law effective implementation of the ban has not taken place. There is no law that has been amended or revoked regarding the ban on kavera. Maybe NEMA has not been doing its role,” said Byarugaba.
Hon. Silas Aogon (Kumi Municipality), said that companies manufacturing the banned polythene bags have derailed the implementation, coupled with complacency by NEMA and other government agencies like the environment police.
“It is just about having the will to stop this. The people who are producing these kaveras do not want to do away with them. They feel this is the business but I don’t think they are only doing production of kaveras. They have other lines of production,” Aogon said.
He added: “It is time for us to wake up. If we say no, just like we put a deadline for simcard registration, everybody will obey. They have an effect and should be adhered to. We should not start on blame games but what we want to see is a change”.
Tororo South MP, Hon. Richard Angura added that in banning the use of polythene bags, government will in turn encourage the growing crafts industry, which will in turn generate jobs for the unemployed youths.
“We shall create opportunities for our craft industries. In Rwanda and Kenya, it is growing because some of these bags that are made by our communities can be used to substitute kaveras,” Hon Angura said.
In 2009, the Minister of Finance announced a total importation, manufacture and use of polythene bags of less than 30 microns.
Kenya is the latest country in the East African region to announce a ban on the use, manufacture and importation of all plastic bags for commercial and household use.
Rwanda was the first country to implement a total ban on the kavera in the region.