Uganda: Rwandan plastics are contaminating the country’s environment due to limited attention towards the protection- Minister
Ms. Beatrice Anywar, State Minister for Environment, has urged urgent action and buy-in from new lawmakers to combat environmental deterioration, pollution, and climate catastrophe.
Ms. Anywar said yesterday at a climate change discussion in Kampala that plastics from Rwanda are contaminating the country’s ecosystem owing to a lack of protection.
“I feel humiliated when I travel with KLM because when you get in Rwanda, they advise you to leave all the plastics in the aeroplane since it is not permitted in Rwanda. So the aircraft departs Rwanda with plastics, which end up in Uganda, even the ones left on the plane by Rwandans,” she said.
However, despite clear regulations, the government has failed to control the enormous quantities of plastics produced inside the nation, according to environmentalists.
Section 2 of the 2009 Finance Act bans the importation, local production, sale, or use of plastic bags or bags made of polymers of ethene and polyethylene, however, implementation of the prohibition has stalled due to a dispute and claimed strong lobbying by the country’s plastics producers.
Plastic bags are the leading source of water pollution in Ugandan lakes, posing a danger to fish and aquatic life. They are also a significant source of blockage in Kampala’s sewage systems, a serious issue that contributes to the city’s perpetual floods.
Ms Anywar said, “We are planning to set up public hotlines [for individuals to report plastic pollution problems].” If you observe someone throwing plastic bottles through the window of a car, take the license plate.”
She said that President Museveni has now taken the lead in preserving the country’s ecology and that a lot would happen as a result.
“The President launched a battle to save the environment, and we are planning like troops preparing to march to the front lines. The subterranean construction is underway.
We have been meeting every week since a sub-cabinet committee was established [to lead] ‘Ten Years of Restoration of the Degraded Environment,’ led by first deputy Prime Minister Rebecca Kadaga. “You’ll see the bullets [hit] soon,” she said.
According to a recent Ministry of Water and Environment study, wetlands decreased from 15.6% in 1990 to 8.4% in 2017, while forest cover decreased from 24% in 1990 to 9% in 2015.