Society / Environment
Monday, 05 Jun 2017 19:25 EATamboleokata@gmail.com
The government has reiterated its commitment towards the move to ban the use of single-use plastic bags from 28 August, saying that Kenyans should be prepared for the commencement of the ban. Environment and natural resources cabinet secretary Prof. Judy Wakhungu said that appropriate measures have been put in place to ensure the effective implementation of the ban which she said will go a long way in protecting the environment.
Speaking at Egerton University during the world environment day, Prof. Wakhungu said that the move by the government to gazette the notice on the ban of plastic bags was aimed at ridding the country off the menace of plastic wastes which she said have continued to drainage systems, killing livestock and degrading infrastructure. She called on Kenyans to support the move to ban the use of plastic bags if the country is to achieve a clean, safe and healthy environment.
“I call upon all people of goodwill to support this great imitative so that we can all live in a clean, safe and healthy environment,” said the CS, who held that plastic bags form the biggest challenge to solid waste management in the country because most of them are made from petroleum or gas non-renewable resources extracted and produced using energy intensive techniques that destroy fragile ecosystems with the same plastics posing great dangers to human health. She added that the war on plastics has become a nightmare that must be defeated by all means.
Wakhungu said that her ministry is committed towards seeing the effective implementation of the ban on plastics by giving necessary policy directions over all matters related to the environment. She also said that her ministry through NEMA has formulated a strategy of engaging all stakeholders affected by the ban on plastics to ensure that they all embrace the policy of a free plastic carrier bags nation.
While lauding various companies which have embraced the no plastics policy, the CS challenged private companies to work closely with NEMA in ensuring that they comply with the requirement of the ban and ensure that Kenya attains a clean and healthy environment.
On the implementation of the ban, the director general NEMA Prof. Geoffrey Wakhungu said that they have already developed appropriate implementation strategies to ensure its effectiveness. He said the strategies include media campaigns and public awareness strategies.
It is estimated that over 24 million single –use plastic bags are used every month in the country .Plastic bags take between 20-1000 years to bio-degrade something which poses a great danger to the environment.
The writer is contributing reporter for the Kenya Free Press based in Nakuru County