PIC: Akegeka the communications director Uganda Plastics Manufacturers and Recyclers Association (UMPRA) talking to a NEMA official who had come to close the sanitation campaign at Kiswa Health Center III in Bugolobi on Friday. (Credit: Agnes Kyotalegerire)
KAMPALA - National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) on Friday, August 3, blocked a parallel Kaveera campaign that had been organised by Uganda Plastics Manufacturers and Recyclers Association (UMPRA).
UMRA had organised a parallel kaveera campaign that was intended to promote sanitation through proper plastic disposal while NEMA was using the nearby venue at Shell Petrol station Bugolobi to launch an awareness campaign to sensitize the public about the dangers of kaveera (single use plastic carrier bags) to humans, animals and the environment at large.
David Dauna, the Liaison officer, NEMA Police said they stopped UMPRA campaign because the members did not have documents allowing them to hold a parallel campaign in the same venue.
Dauna said in that respect they advised UMPRA members to shift their campaign elsewhere instead of holding it adjacent to that of NEMA.
Tonny Achidria, the senior public relations officer at NEMA said the awareness campaign was launched to eliminate kaveera use considering the harmful effects it predisposes to the public and the environment.
In addition, Achidria said the costs of managing the kaveera waste are enormous and raises a lot of concern.
For instance, he estimated that every year, Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) spends about sh7 billion shillings trying to separate kaveera from the collected garbage.
He said NEMA set up ten compost plants across the country supposed to create manure out of the garbage that is generated in the city.
However, more than 50% of the garbage collected is kaveera which renders the compost manure ineffective.
Moses Akegeka who is the communication director of the Uganda Plastics Manufacturers and Recyclers Association (UPMRA) said the drive was aimed at boosting sanitation in the community and to help all the 25 recycling factories to increase kaveera collection from the communities so as to meet their demand.
“We know that many people do not know how to manage their plastic waste thus predisposing the public to its (kaveera waste) dangerous effects.
"But we also know that while plastics are dangerous they also have values which we are promoting through recycling to make various plastic products including kitchen ware and conduit pipes,” said Ategeka.
In addition, Akegeka said the kaveera recycling factories offer employment to over 25,000 people across the country.
The campaign was supposed to take place at Kiswa Health Centre III in Bugolobi. But a few minutes before the campaign could start; NEMA Police officials stopped it.
Ategeka said NEMA had got no powers to stop a sanitation campaign, more so after they had sought clearance from police and KCCA division authority.
The sanitation drive that kicked off at 9.00 am with over 50 kaveera collecters matching from Kitintale market, through Silver Spring road, to Bugolobi flats, and market and then through Bandali rise collecting littered kaveera.