A TOTAL of 128,000kg of banned polythene bags commonly known as kavera are to be destroyed, the state minister for environment, Jenipher Namuyangu,has said.
Namuyangu said there were large volumes of impounded kavera in Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) warehouses in eastern Uganda, mostly in Jinja and Iganga districts.
Namuyangu made the revelation on Tuesday while appearing before the parliamentary committee on natural resources to defend her ministryâ€™s budget for the next financial year.
â€œBesides the direct impounding of these products, the deterrent impact on importation and manufacturing is significant. As a result, smuggling of kavera has been reduced to almost 20%,â€ Namuyangu said.
In 2007, Uganda banned the importation and manufacturing of polythene bags below 30 microns.
However, almost two years since the ban, the polythene bags are still being used in most shops across the country.
Namuyangu attributed this to failure by the neighbouring countries particularly Kenya and the DR Congo, to abide by what was agreed on by the East African Community countries.
â€œThe traders have made our efforts fruitless. They always claim they are taking them to Kenya and DR Congo, after which they bring them back into Uganda,â€ she explained.
Namuyangu said the owners of the impounded polythene bags would meet the costs of destroying the bags.
She said the National Management Authority and the URA have stepped up operations to enforce the ban in the districts of Kampala, Jinja, Tororo and Busia.
Namuyangu also told the MPs that surveilence along the border points of Bwera in the west and Mutukula in southwestern Uganda had been stepped up to counter the racket in which, she said, traders were increasingly getting involved.
128,000kg of buveera to be destroyed