Pic: Onew of recycling plants for kaveera in Uganda.
Uganda plastic subsector in collaboration with key stakeholders have branded NEMA Uganda as an agent of underdevelopment even when they disguise as environmental activists in an overwhelming dossier submitted to the media on Friday.
The stakeholders were responding to a NEMA article on 28th February in the media which is purported to have had alarming, misleading statements over the Plastic Recycling and production industries.
‘We are overwhelmed by the unresearched data,far from truth statements used in the New vision by NEMA’Publicist,I don’t know who is there Researcher but I can assure you, something is wrong with NEMA.’ UPMRA’ corporate communications director,Ategeka B Moses explained to the media on Friday.
MPS on Natural Resources Committee inspect Buveera recycling plants in Uganda 2018.
The outspoken mouth piece Referred to NEMAs’ 28th February, 2018 article in the daily Newvision which he expressed as misquided and an unfortunate incident that compromises NEMA’ position in the field of ethics and professionalism.He blames NEMA for rushing a disastrous bill to parliament before making mandatory consultations with key stakeholders,instead of meeting stakeholders,they are busy using media to to propagate misleading lies.
‘Let us agree that National Environment Bill 2017 was rushed for submission to Cabinet and Parliament with deliberate motive to kick out stakeholders such as Ministry of trade,UMA,UPMRA, UNCCI,KACITA, who had very vital views throughout interministerial consultations since 2014 as was led by trade and environment ministers., notably these views that NEMA and Environment ministry sidelined in the crafting of the new bill dubbed anti industrialization are very vital,We seek parliament to use them a head of this anti- economic bill highly rejected by 98% of the stakeholders. By not involving formally recognized institutions and Stakeholders in building the bill,it scorns efforts of previous cabinet and team’s applicable resolutions on widening Recycling plants,general solid waste management sortable by on ground jobless plastic collectors that we pay millions on daily basis as we strive to work towards environmental protection ,the flora and fauna of our mother country Uganda as we produce goods, products and services needed.’Ategeka keenly explained to members of the media.
Pic:Locals from Kamuli district deliver buveera for recycling to a recycling plant in Jinja district.
He says NEMA media report on Wednesday,they say they advised Hima and Tororo cement to have environmental technologies to abate cancer and other diseases in their locations(that is good from NEMA) but questioned as to why these so called Environmental scientists were failing to push for for highly advanced technologies that UPMRA members have already adopted employoing thousands of ugandans. ‘But why do they fight plastic career bag technologies which is morethan half here out of the 45 carrier bags industries.Do they have Ugx 500 billion to compensate these industries(minus the plastic bottle industries) ?’ Ategeka asked zealously before the journalists.
Some of the products of kaveera recycling,UPMRA Communication boss,Ategeka B Moses explained.@AtM.
According to government industrial expert who preferred anonymous,Government agrees that the private sector is the engine for national growth and development in Uganda as well as one of the top tax payer, top employment creator and top contributor of the NSSF plus ensuring the enforcement of local manufacturing and value addition as opposed to import trade. Is there any industry in the world that is environmental friendly or all apply solutions and mechanisms to protect the environment?
Ategeka stresses that they are dismayed when efforts and desire to closely work with NEMA and Ministry of Environment are not recognized and utilized but accept to be tossed now and then in their efforts to protect the environment.
‘UPMRA’s position and proven justification is highlighted by NEMA’s 28th February, 2018 statement that the ban affects one line of production with comprehensive list of exempted plastics which are over 80% in the environment and does not affect the plastics industries as a whole meaning that the factories can continue running and producing other legal plastics(80%),The question is that will the legalised plastics not choke the soils and block drainage channels and how different are they to Kaveera (15%)?
The dilemma is that only Kavera is seen on the road side but not the other purpoted legal plastics(80%).Why? interprete the picture below,kaveera is Used as a garbage bag for a complex-legalised other plastics such as sugar packs,milk wrappers,biscuit,clothes,straws,foods sweets,omo,bar soaps(all this is kaveera in environment)’ he continued to explain .
picture needed here
As a matter of concern, UPMRA brought up solutions to NEMA and other government institutions to address the main problem and treat it once and for all and not partial.
Ategeka B Moses explains to the Speaker of Parliament,the best way possible to Manage KAVEERA and other plastics.Ban is most dangerous to the environment.
Plastic kaveera is mainly exposed on the road sides is obvious since it is reused to dispose of household, restaurants refuse and this attracts the public to see the kavera but not what is in the Kavera.
The problem is solid waste management as the solid waste is packed and disposed of using Kavera and to make matters worse, it is disposed-off on various points along streets hence creating a number of “pockets” of waste along the trading centers. This makes KCCA and other municipality waste collectors spend much time, fuel and energy to collect the waste at various points instead of them collecting it from one designated point. There is a need to allocate one designated point and enforce the law for littering on streets.
Sustainable development means using current natural resources in a manner that can protect both the environment sustainability first but also safeguarding existing industries and its employment and supports the growth of the plastics recycling industry that will lead to the creation of the much needed jobs. Ategeka continued to analyse in presence of some environmental experts that were nodding in agreement of the facts being relayed.
Harvesting Money from collecting kaveera by selling it to Kaveera recyclers.
According to environmental expert at UMA names withheld,Since 2010 to-date, UPMRA has invested heavily into recycling technology a condition set by NEMA by ensuring that the legal and illegal plastics are of recyclable material. Kaveera waste in the environment is only 15% compared to the so called legal plastics which constitute 85% and unexposed since they are disposed of in the Kavera.
‘There is no such evidence that Kavera can cause cancer starting from its production line to recycling for being used as a carrier bag and there is no such data that the government can associate the cost in treating cancer is associated with Kavera production.’Ategeka Challenged what he called these lies and poorly put facts from NEMA.’
UPMRA has been and is still sensitizing people that Kavera is not designed to use it while cooking or as a lubricant to light a charcoal stove. Through education and enforcement, set appropriate measures to dispose of and collect waste and this will protect the soils, drainages, wellbeing, clean environment and livestock will be safe(kaveera is not grass or food for cows. For instance, due to poor disposal, a cow may digest a plastic and specifically Kavera and it dies yet the animal did not go to the shop to pick the Kavera but instead it is the recklessness of the person disposing off the waste near the farm or grazing area with that Kaveera mixed with banana pills and other non-biodegradable waste attracts the animal’s taste. He concluded.
According to EABC’ one Micheal It is very fast to conclude that Tanzania and Kenya have completely banned plastic bags yet the East African Business Council has petitioned the East African Legislative Assembly to review its position on the ban of plastic bags and enforce control measures like many countries Globarly.
- UPMRA’s Naim Sabra ,Ategeka B Moses ,KACITA PRO Issa SSEKITO after presenting to EALA,the plastic issues.
The plastic industries employ directly and indirectly 60,000 people whereby 65% are female and are financially empowered. 50% of waste suppliers to the plastic recycling industries are women.’ Micheal articulated.
Reports show Youth Action against Poverty a group of youth are generating incomes through plastic collection and sorting UPMRA members. This is because the members found it beneficial to deal in plastic waste instead of paper waste and could deliver over 10 tonnes of plastic waste making an average of 1,000= per kilogram of plastic waste if well sorted and cleaned.
Alfred Rwabugahya UPMRA Operations Manager says When Kavera ban was announced with facts still under investigation by the relevant authorities, it appeared as a silent industrial war and conflict of interest not as emotionally stated by NEMA in their previous statement. That women embarked on their traditional and artistic craft of raw materials from wetland,this is not sustainable and after all it destroys wetlands. NEMA again recommended the alternative as the new multicolored bags (Non-woven Polypropylene bags) that are currently in circulation in supermarkets. They are typical plastics too, non degradable and non-recyclable as compared to Kavera which is 100% recyclable.The colored bags can last 100 years in soil and is what NEMA
NON WOOVEN BAGS (KAVEERA IN SUPERMARKETS TODAY)
The Plastics Federation of South Africa, European Union Plastics Association and many more confirm that the newly recommended multicolored bag by NEMA is non degradable and non recyclable.
Banning recyclable plastic bags will not significantly reduce litter or the amount of waste in our sewers and landfills. Litter as a problem should be addressed directly by targeting littering and providing recycling and waste bins. Banning a certain product will only cause a switch from one form of litter to another. There is no such a thing as more or better environmentally friendly litter. Such approaches merely create new problems. Many countries have resorted to solid waste sorting and invested hugely in recycling lines to create a sustainable environment as a priority and the much needed jobs.
‘List of facts is endless, how articulate is it that 80% legalized bags (exempted plastics) are very safe to environment. Did you know banning (20% carrier bags) directly affects the entire recycling industries which definitely must close and will leave the 80% legalized bags littered everywhere in the environment?’ Ategeka challenged the media.