Wednesday, January 29, 2020
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NEMA raises alarm on return of plastic bags

The  National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) has issued a warning over the return of plastic bags in the  country.

The  bags are slowly finding their way back into Kenya market from neighbouring Uganda a year after they were banned.

Unscrupulous  businessmen engaged in the trade take advantage of the porous Kenya-Uganda border posts to sneak  in the  products.

The  Kisumu County Director of Environment, Tom Togo, said a crackdown has been launched to wipe out the products  in  the  area which is a key destination for the products.

The importation, he said posed a big challenge in enforcing the ban since the traders stash the bags among other products  like eggs to escape police dragnet.

NEMA, he  said  has  developed  a  multi  agency plan that involves police officers to track down and bring to book those  involved in the illegal trade.

Speaking to KNA in his office, Togo disclosed that since the crackdown was launched 5 people found in possession of plastic  bags have been arrested and charged in court.

“Two weeks ago, we arrested a supplier who had 9, 600 pieces of plastic bags in Kisumu and he was charged with a fine of Sh. 30,000. Another trader was charged and released on a Sh. 100, 000 bond,” said Togo.

NEMA, he added has embarked on public sensitisation meetings targeting key market places, hawkers and traders to  create awareness on the ban and consequences of being found in possession of the outlawed products.

The  office  however, he said was faced by staff shortage making it difficult to monitor compliance with the ban.

This, he observed had led to infiltration of conmen who are going round harassing traders purporting to be NEMA officers.

“We have liaised with the County Commissioner to track down the imposters but we are asking members of the public to be on the lookout,” he said.

“We have liaised with the County Commissioner to track down the imposters but we are asking members of the public to be on  the lookout,” he said.

By  Owiti  Cynthia

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