National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) arrested a supermarket attendant on Tuesday in Litein town, Bureti sub-county, Kericho for flouting environmental regulations on the use of banned plastic bags.
The crackdown, coordinated by NEMA enforcement officers, caught the Kipchimatt supermarket staff unawares and the suspect was arrested while in possession of a plastic bag inside the supermarket premises.
Kericho NEMA chief enforcement officer (CEO) Samuel Ondeng lamented the resurgence of the sale and use of plastic bags in the county. “The plastic bags are being used because the bags are cheap for use in packaging,” he said.
He added that preliminary investigations indicated that the source of plastic bags was from the neighbouring countries of Uganda and Tanzania.
“We have realized that plastic bags are back in full force. Litein town in Kericho is in close proximity to Kisumu and through the porous Busia border, the plastic bags are finding their way back here,” added Ondeng.
Ondeng said the campaign would be sustained throughout the county to ensure the use of plastic bags is completely wiped out.
“We are determined to get rid of the sale and use of plastic bags in the county. We started the crackdown in Kericho town and the surrounding areas, notably Brooke Trading center and Kapsoit Trading center last week. Our current emphasis is Londiani sub-county and the larger Kipkelion sub-county and we shall liaise with our neighbouring county of Kisumu to carry out intensified campaign in the border town of Sondu which will culminate into another serious inspection in Kapsoit town,” he said.
As per the plastic ban regulation that came into effect on August 28, 2017, anyone found producing, selling or using plastic bags is liable to a fine of up to Sh4 million or a jail term of four years.
By Sarah Njagi