In a press con­fer­ence ear­lier to­day, Mem­bers of the Nat­ural Re­sources Com­mit­tee told jour­nal­ists that the kaveera (plas­tic bags) ban would hold, at least in law as op­posed to prac­tice. The Fi­nance Act, 2009, backed by the 2009/​2010 bud­get, the gov­ern­ment of Uganda an­nounced a to­tal ban on all poly­thene ma­te­r­ial be­low 30 mi­crons as an en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion mea­sure. The move, in line with the de­ci­sion of East African Com­mu­nity mem­ber states to ban the plas­tic bags com­monly known as kaveera, how­ever the full im­ple­men­ta­tion is yet to be achieved due to re­sis­tance from var­i­ous play­ers in­clud­ing the man­u­fac­tur­ers.

Uganda was the 2nd coun­try af­ter Rwanda to ban the kaveera, Kenya has since fol­lowed suit. Kenya’s en­vi­ron­ment Sec­re­tary, Judi Wakhungu, re­cently out­lawed the man­u­fac­ture, im­port, sale and use of plas­tic bags.

The chair­per­son, Hon Byaru­gaba dis­pelled the ru­mors that Uganda was try­ing to ab­sorb the banned kaveera man­u­fac­tur­ers from Kenya. A re­port by Busi­ness Daily stated that Uganda was try­ing to woe dis­grun­tled man­u­fac­tur­ers from Kenya. Some­thing the Uganda in­vest­ment au­thor­ity also de­nied in a press re­lease.

He added that the ru­mor that the law would be amended was false and urged the Na­tional En­vi­ron­ment Man­age­ment Au­thor­ity to se­ri­ously im­ple­ment the ban. The com­mit­tee also com­mit­ted to sup­port NEMA in the event that  there is con­tin­ued re­sis­tance. to be met. It was also re­vealed that 60% of Ugan­da’s kaveera im­ports came from Kenya and the halted sup­ply would re­duce the amount of kaveera in Uganda

Hon Ao­gon urged Ugan­dan kaveera man­u­fac­tur­ers to re­place the man­u­fac­ture of the kaveera with other prod­ucts. He added that most man­u­fac­tur­ers pro­duce other prod­ucts and the loss from the kaveera is neg­li­gi­ble. He also added that the ban with­out al­ter­na­tives would be coun­ter­pro­duc­tive and called for man­u­fac­tur­ers of al­ter­na­tive ma­te­r­ial to start man­u­fac­tur­ing to fill the de­mand.

The Press Release by Uganda Investment Authority.
The Press Release by Uganda Investment Authority.

Other is­sues the com­mit­tee hinted on in­clude; the non-re­newal of the con­tract of In­fratec on the Karuma and Isimba dams, the evic­tion of ar­ti­sanal min­ers in Mubende and the sus­pen­sion of the Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor (ED) and Deputy ED of the Rural Elec­tri­fi­ca­tion Agency and its ef­fect on elec­tri­fi­ca­tion pro­jects in the coun­try.