EA as­sem­bly in push to limit use of plas­tic bags

The Star (Kenya) - - Politics -

The East African Leg­isla­tive As­sem­bly plans to rein­tro­duce a bill to reg­u­late the man­u­fac­ture, sale, im­por­ta­tion and use of poly­thene ma­te­ri­als to con­serve the en­vi­ron­ment.

MP Va­lerie Nyi­ra­habineza on Sun­day said the bill will be sub­jected to pub­lic par­tic­i­pa­tion in Kenya, Uganda, Tan­za­nia, Bu­rundi and Rwanda.

The use of poly­thene bags has al­ready been banned in Rwanda. Tan­za­nia has said it will im­pose a to­tal ban on poly­thene bags and switch to re­cy­clable ma­te­ri­als.

Nyi­ra­habineza ex­pressed con­cerns about the mas­sive heaps of poly­thene ma­te­ri­als at the Nyal­enda grounds in Kisumu town when she vis­ited for a cleanup dur­ing the Lake Vic­to­ria Basin Com­mis­sion’s 10-year an­niver­sary cel­e­bra­tions.

She rep­re­sented EALA speaker Daniel Kidega.

Nyi­ra­habineza was ac­com­pa­nied by EAC deputy sec­re­tary gen­eral Christophe Bazi­vamo, Tan­za­nia’s Nat­u­ral Re­sources deputy min­is­ter Ramo Makani, LVBC deputy ex­ec­u­tive sec­re­tary Terry Mu­ramira, Kenya’s Wa­ter PS Fred Se­gor, Kisumu county com­mis­sioner Maalim Mo­hammed and Pop­u­la­tion, Health and En­vi­ron­ment re­gional co­or­di­na­tor Doreen Othero.

“We hope you will sup­port us and give us feed back to en­rich the bill. When this bill (The East Africa Com­mu­nity Poly­thene Ma­te­ri­als Con­trol Bill) was first in­tro­duced in the as­sem­bly, it re­ceived wide sup­port. We are de­ter­mined to reg­u­late the use and pro­duc­tion of poly­thene ma­te­ri­als,” Nyi­ra­habineza said.

She urged the pub­lic to at­tend the par­tic­i­pa­tion fo­rums. “Come for­ward when we in­vite you and give us ideas which will even­tu­ally be re­flected in the draft bill be­fore it is con­sid­ered by the as­sem­bly and be­fore it is as­sented to by the heads of state sum­mit,” Nyi­ra­habineza said.

She raised con­cerns about the pro­lif­er­a­tion of fac­to­ries pro­duc­ing poly­thene ma­te­ri­als.

“Our aim is not to stop in­vest­ments, but we should re­ally put reg­u­la­tions in place,” Nyi­ra­habineza said.

Se­gor said the use of poly­thene ma­te­ri­als should be reg­u­lated.

“The use of plas­tic ma­te­ri­als is a thorny is­sue not only in the re­gion but in the coun­try. There have been de­bates about reg­u­la­tion of use of poly­thene ma­te­ri­als. We hope to have uni­form leg­is­la­tion across the East African re­gion,” he said.

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