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NEMA blames Uganda for Illegal plastic bags in Busia

The National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) has blamed rampant plastic bags in Busia town smuggled from neighbouring country Uganda.

Addressing the press in Busia on Monday, the County Director of NEMA Kipkoech Rop said, “The fact that plastic bags from Uganda find their way into Kenya through black market, it is difficult to curb its usage.”

“Seemingly Busia residents have forgotten the ban on Sugar bags, it is illegal to use the plastic bags so let those still using them be warned,” Rop added.

He also warned that the ban is still on, and NEMA is working with all relevant authorities to ensure culprits are apprehended.

Rop further advised Mama Mbogas to adhere to the new law, and stop using the banned plastic bags stating that they have been famous users in the region.

Dumping site in Busia town

“The law is very clear for anyone found using the plastic bags in the open. If you are found with plastic bags you will be charged up to Sh1million or four years in jail,” said Rop.

The area County Government Director of Environment and Natural Resources, Dennis Chirande noted that environmental degradation is on the increase, hence there is a need for the adoption of a multi-stakeholder approach.

“It is time the county adopts a synergy that is essential in terms of addressing environmental degradation, awareness, funding levels and other emerging issues such as climate change,” Chirande said.

The ban on all plastic carrier bags and flat bags used for commercial and household packaging in Kenya took effect on August 28, 2017.

By Maureen Kwena and Christine Sikolia

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