As the beginning of the new term nears, government has ordered all schools throughout the country to enforce the ban on polythene bags commonly known as Kaveera, the Nile Post has learnt.
In a circular to all heads of educational institutions, primary schools, secondary schools, tertiary institutions and universities by the Permanent Secretary in charge of the Education Ministry, Alex Kakooza, government has reminded them to enforce the ban as the new term begins.
“The purpose of this circular is to request that effective first term of the school calendar 2019, you implement the ban on the use of Kaveera on your premises,” reads in part the circular.
Government through the circular says the ban on Kaveera is aimed at safeguarding its citizens from pollution and associated conditions like cancer.
Quoting the Finance Act 2009, the circular cites section 4 which specifically prohibits the importation, sale, use and distribution of plastic carrier bags except plastic woven bags.
According to government, schools are expected to ask students use alternative and adopt alternative ways including paper bags and baskets and in turn this would also help support the craft industry.
“Any head of school, institution and university that will not abide by this will be personally held liable for the breach.”
Government in 2009 banned the importation, use, and distribution of polythene bags of less than 30 microns and in 2012, the High Court declared the importation and use of polythene bags commonly known as ‘kaveera’ to be violating the rights of the citizens to a clean and health environment.
In June last year, President Museveni ordered 45 plastic manufacturers in the country to stop making polythene bags as he revived a shelved government ban on the environmentally hazardous product.
“You should manufacture, distribute and sell only permitted quality plastics. The continued manufacture of banned products must stop. Banning the manufacture, distribution, sale and use is encompassing of the different promoters of these products. This law has not been repealed and should be enforced,” Museveni said during the World Environment Day celebrations in Mbale Town.
The ban on Kaveera has however met stiff resistance especially from manufacturers who have argued that in absence of alternatives, shoppers would be disadvantaged on what to use for carrying groceries as well as making those dealing in the products jobless.
Last year Vivo Energy, the company that distributes distributes and markets Shell branded fuels and lubricants in Uganda, together with NBS Television and National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) launched an environment campaign dubbed “Tuve Ku Kaveera – Relieve our environment” with an aim of preaching the gospel of abandoning polythene bags as a way of saving the environment.