Uganda generates 600 tonnes of plastic waste daily – NEMA

Namiiro drainage in Entebbe  blocked by plastic bottels . Photo by Eve Muganga

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  • The minister further noted that since Uganda is an agricultural country, there's still a challenge of exporting cargo to Saudi Arabia because of limited flights.

The National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) has revealed that Uganda generates 600 tonnes of plastics daily. 

The NEMA Executive Director, Dr Akankwasa Barirega revealed this during the National Technical Consultation workshop to develop a national action plan for the management of plastic pollution in Uganda held at Imperial Golf View Hotel in Entebbe on Friday.

‘In Kampala alone, 150 tonnes of waste are generated every day and it is estimated that in urban areas, waste generation per capita stands at around one kilogram per day, and only 40 per cent of plastic waste produced in urban areas is collected, so 60 per cent is left on its own leading to a number of problems,” he said.

Dr Akwankwasa added that 60 per cent contributes to the greatest part of pollution of our lakes, rivers, degradation of our soils and rendering fertility and productivity of agriculture ineffective; and needless to say the rampant blockage of our drainage channels culminating into floods we see nowadays.

“The waste blocks drainage channels and the rest that goes through ends up in lakes, rivers, and other drainage systems and has an effect on the environment,” he said, noting that waste comes along with pathogens that find their way into the food chain like the fish, crops we eat, and everything we get from the soil.

“We must address production because recycling is an effective solution in the long term, but in the long run, we must reduce production and use of plastics. We hope that this technical committee will shape a process to chart a new direction for Uganda to join the global partners in addressing the issues of global plastic pollution,” Dr Ankwankasa explained.

He noted that the ban on Kaveera, especially those below 30 microns, is still on but noted they are pushing for a total ban.

Mr Issa Ssekito, the Kampala Capital City Traders' Association (KACITA) spokesperson said: “Every company that makes plastics of any nature, must pay an excise duty particularly to remove what they have generated, then we shall have money for sensitisation and this money should be managed by NEMA.”