POLYTHENE bags, locally referred to as buveera, are one of the most smuggled goods, Special Revenue Protection Services spokesperson, Lt. Bahoku Barigye, said in an exclusive interview in Kampala recently.
â€œIn the category of wines and spirits, cigarettes, Tiger Head batteries, textiles and polythene bags are the most smuggled goods into the country,â€ Bahoku said.
He attributed this to the wide use of buveera for various purposes.
â€œEvery time we go to a shop or supermarket, we are handed our purchases in a polythene bag. It is a culture that is hard to change.
â€œBecause of this high demand, buveera dealers have a readily available market,â€ Bahoku said.
Environmental reports show that polythene bags are associated with several problems.
They are bio-degradable. Because they do not decompose, they clog the soil and entangle vegetation.
They also litter the environment when carelessly disposed ff.
Polythene bags block water pipes and lead to flooding.
, which creates breeding ground for mosquitoes causing malaria in humans. They are also dangerous to grazing animals that often feast on them, but end up with severe digestive problems leading to death.
â€œWe impound 5-10 bundles of smuggled buveera in Uganda on a daily basis. They are usually smuggled from Kenya across the Lake Victoria. Lake Victoria has so many landing sites, which we cannot fully control in terms of security. This is dangerous because it means anything can be smuggled into the country,â€ Bahoku said.
He appealed to the National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) and other stakeholders, to cooperate with SRPS in order to fight buveera smuggling, which he said does not only cause great losses to the government, but are also dangerous to the Environment, humans and animals.
â€˜Buveera are most smuggled productsâ€™