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Enforcement of plastic carrier bags’ ban

Ten  traders have been arrested for using banned plastic carrier bags at Oyugis market in Rachuonyo South Sub County in the ongoing crackdown conducted by National Environment Management Authority (NEMA).

During  the impromptu crackdown, the authority officials confiscated 2, 495 pieces of plastic carriers.

The  suspects arrested included distributors, suppliers and small scale traders who use the plastic carrier bags to wrap items such as groceries, charcoal, and sugar among others items.

Speaking  to  the press after the crackdown, the NEMA Regional Director in charge of South Nyanza Region, Jane  Nyandika  said that the  crackdown was jointly conducted by NEMA officials and Kenya police who assisted them in nabbing the suspects.

She  said the suspects contravened the gazette notice no 2536 which banned the use, manufacture and importation of plastic carrier bags for commercial and household packages.

“The  distributors and handlers are the key suspects during the crackdown because they peddle plastic bags which degrade the environment,” Nyandika said.

The  Director added that they have plans to sensitize the traders on the dangers of using plastic carrier bags, saying that Homa-Bay town touches Lake Victoria which they are preventing from being polluted.

“Off  late, it has been found out that lake Victoria is a depository of most of the plastic bags and the lake is a source of livelihood for many Kenyans therefore NEMA is committed to ensure the environment is clean and healthy for wildlife and fish,” the Director commented.

Nyandika  added that NEMA in collaboration with other leading agencies has teamed up to ensure the plastic carrier bag ban that came into  force two years ago is implemented.

NEMA  has managed to mobilize enough resources to enable them eliminate all the plastic carrier bags in the environment.

She  said that the authority however has a team which scrutinizes the list of applicants who must use the plastic bags with an aim of giving them an exemption letter.

The  officer  further called upon all who must use plastic bags to use a proper channel to avoid trouble during the crackdowns by NEMA.

The  arrested  victims  will be arraigned in Oyugis law court soon to face charges of flouting the law as the crackdown continues in the other  Sub-Counties within Homa-Bay County.

Other  NEMA officials  who  were present during the crackdown, included Homa Bay County Director, John  Maniafu, his counterpart for Migori, James  Siaji  Omondi  and Leonard Ofula of Kisii.

By  Natasha Kanisa/Davis Langat

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