YESTERDAY, Tanzania joined other nations across the world and Rwanda and Kenya in East Africa, in particular, to officially ban the importation, production, supply and use of plastic carrier bags, except those only allowed for use.
This was after the government of Tanzania had campaigned against plastic carrier bags for some time and for that matter all citizens, including visitors coming into or leaving the country, are reminded to abide by the government directive to avoid untoward consequences.
It was clear yesterday that the campaign has been successful, as besides using the media, this time the government was sending a short message to all mobile phone subscribers, reminding them to comply with the government ban on the use of plastic carrier bags with effect from June 1 and avoid inconveniences should any person be found producing, supplying or using a banned carrier plastic bag after the government ultimatum.
The majority of traders at various markets, shops and stalls across the country yesterday had displayed environmentally-friendly alternative carrier bags allowed by the government.
Seeing the way this campaign has been conducted, we think this approach of raising public awareness about issues of public interest should be maintained.
This includes weather forecasts and warnings against natural calamities for now we can all agree that ‘where there is a will, there is a way’. Thus, we congratulate all people, who have played an active role in making this campaign a roaring success.
We particularly attribute this success to the government through the Vice-President’s Office (Environment) and the National Environment Management Council (NEMC), Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) and other stakeholders.
Tanzania is a staunch supporter of environmental protection and conservation and has on various occasions campaigned for tree planting, protection of water sources and resources, as well as against tree felling and charcoal burning, among other things.
Environmental degradation in general and environmental and water pollution in particular, has detrimental consequences for human health, animals and the environment.
The government has also been reminding all citizens to ensure they keep their surroundings, including places of work clean by engaging in a cleanliness campaign and putting their domestic or office waste materials in garbage collection containers.
With what has been done it is possible to make Tanzania a nation we want it to be for present and future generations. So, let us play our part.