Poor implementation of government policies is frustrating efforts by the ministry of water and environment to enforce laws that promote sustainable use of the environment and its natural resources.
The minister of Water and Environment Prof.Ephraim Kamuntu believes implementation of government policies should be a collective responsibility of all stakeholders who include individuals, companies, and factories, government institutions among others.
Kamuntu said this while officiating at the 9th Roundtable discussion on sustainable consumption and production (ARSCP-9).
The conference is aimed at creating awareness of the importance of cleaner production centers in Africa so as to achieve the Global Agenda of 2030 whose goal is to promote production, consumption in a sustainable manner.
Kamuntu said efficient use of energy means embracing renewable energy practices, using it efficiently including other factors of production which include water, land, air, wetlands, industries and managing waste.
"How can we produce without polluting the environment, the air, wetlands including those in domestic setting, who use charcoal with the smoke and are not aware of the effects of that smoke," said Kamuntu.
Kamuntu said that Uganda has a Cleaner Production Center to help stakeholders make use of the resources available to make more profits and stay in business .The resources in this context include water, energy, labour, industrial raw materials among others.
"The challenge now is to change the mindset of people so they can embrace voluntary compliance, where a citizen takes responsibility and restrains himself from degrading the natural resources without waiting for policemen to force them to comply," said Kamuntu.
For example because people are not complying and the enforcement mechanisms are not in place, they still manufacture polythene bags despite the ban, ignoring the dangers associated with kavera usage.
"People still produce Kaveera but look at what they do to the soil, Kaveera takes 400 years without being degraded, affecting soil fertility, blocking drainage channels and when eaten by animal eats ,they die, when burnt the fumes are said to cause cancer," said Kamuntu.
The 9th conference was convened to support African industries and review the production processes and make improvement on their efficiency on water, energy, chemical utilization according to Desta Gebratu, from the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP).
In Uganda clean energy production center was created in 2001 and is being housed at the Uganda Industrial Research Institute (UIRI) under the ministry of trade, targeting industries that were considered the biggest most polluters at the time.
These have since expanded into the series sector like hotels and tourism.
James Wilberforce Ludigo, the technical officer at the Uganda Cleaner Production Center said they help industries through training and capacity building on how to use resources like electricity efficiently.
He said manufacturers, waste resources along the value chain for example through transportation, hired labor, production processes, using more electricity for few products, and packaging, adequate skills to run the machines among others.
Companies that have been trained through the center include Pepsi, Sadolin Paints, Leather Industries of Uganda and Pine Spinners among others.