The Minister for Water and Environment, Hon. Sam Cheptoris has asked Members of Parliament to support the ministry in its bid to reintroduce a total ban on polythene bags.
Cheptoris said attempts were made to have a total ban on polythene in the country but the 10th Parliament in its wisdom banned polythene bags only below 30 microns.
In 2018, Parliament passed the National Environment Bill, 2017 banning polythene bags below 30 microns following a recommendation from the Committee on Natural Resources.
Now as he appeared before the Parliament Committee on Human rights on Wednesday, 03 August 2022, Cheptoris said that they are planning to bring back a proposal on a total ban on polythene bags and have them replaced with other environment friendly materials.
Cheptoris said this as he responded to concerns from Terego District Woman MP, Hon. Rose Obiga who said that parts of her district especially the refugee hosting areas were littered with polythene bags of different colures.
He said that their initial plan was to ban all polythene bags but this was defeated in Parliament.
“People are making a lot of noise about polythene bags but Parliament complicated the matter; now we are thinking of coming and seeing if this matter can be revisited now that we have seen the seriousness of the matter,” Cheptoris said.
The MPs pledged support saying that the polythene bags are dangerous to the environment.
Meanwhile, following flooding in the Elgon region that has so far left over 29 people dead, Cheptoris has blamed this on tampering with the environment through construction in wetlands.
He said that people have constructed in waterways and put concrete in swamps causing the change in the environment leading to floods and disasters.
He however, added that government has sometimes made mistakes allowing people to plant rice in the wetlands.