National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) Thursday impounded 436 kg of plastic bags and arrested a suspect during a crackdown on their usage in Kericho town.
The crackdown,coordinated by NEMA enforcement officers backed by regular police officers,caught traders at the Kericho main market stage unawares.
The suspect is said to have been operating as a plastic bag wholesaler in the region from a shop christened Zanzibar dealers situated in Kericho town.
Confirming the incident to KNA, NEMA Kericho County Environmental Inspector, Clement Kokaten said the trader identified as James Odongo was arrested at his shop, situated at the Kericho main market stage in Kericho town, where he was found in possession of flat and carrier bags, weighing 436.1 kg which were loaded in two pick-up police vehicles.
“The arrest of the businessman was done after collection of intelligence information for about six months by our officers and we have reasons to believe he is the main supplier of the banned commodity in Kericho County. He has been doing the illegal business at night and will be arraigned in court after completing investigations,” he added.
During the operation, the officers took the opportunity to create awareness to traders to facilitate compliance.Kokaten warned residents and business persons against using the banned papers as they risked arrest and prosecution in court.
“We shall arrest those found in possession of the banned plastic bags. They will be arraigned in court after investigations.” said Kokaten.
On August 28, 2017, Kenya took a bold step by slapping a ban on all plastic products to salvage her environment from total degradation.
Despite protests by manufacturing companies, the gazettement of the ban saw the country join other countries in Africa that have outlawed the use of non-biodegradable plastic bags.
By Sarah Njagi