‘Tighten screw on plastic bags’

THE Vice-President Dr Philip Mpango has directed the National Environment Management Council (NEMC) and local government authorities to intensify supervision on enforcement of the government ban on use of plastic bags across the country.

The VP issued the directives yesterday shortly after leading an exercise to clean petty traders’ market in Dodoma as part of commemoration of the World Environment Day.

Dr Mpango said that legal actions must be taken against people who go against the government ban, directing all respective authorities to make close monitoring on production and use of alternative carrier bags.

“It is important for all alternative bags being produced to indicate important information of the manufacturer and whether they meet the required standards,” he said.

He added that, private companies and individuals who produce plastic related products must make sure that the wastes generated from the products are collected and disposed appropriately.

On the other hand, Dr Mpango instructed local government authorities to make sure that companies which have been tasked to collect garbage have the capacity to do the work effectively.

Dr Mpango criticised the act of awarding tender of garbage collection to companies, which have no capacity and modern equipment to do the work.

He directed councils in the country to install reliable infrastructure for garbage collection in streets and public places such as markets, bus stations and hospitals.

The VP further said that, citizens should also understand their responsibilities in protecting water sources and stop improper disposal of garbage, directing each household to have special area for garbage collection and disposal.

He further said that, issues related to hygiene and environment protection have no alternatives because environment is life and have direct relationship with social and economic welfare of the nation.

On his part, Minister of State in the Vice-President’s Office (Union Affairs and Environment) Dr Selemani Jafo said the issue of environmental protection and conservation continued to be given priority in the country, citing this year’s national theme for Uhuru Torch race, which focuses on encouraging the agenda of environmental conservation and protection of water sources.

Dr Jafo commended all students from primary to university levels for volunteering to conserve environment including ‘Soma na Mti’ campaign, which aimed at encouraging tree planting in schools.

He, however, expressed gratitude to various stakeholders for their efforts in ensuring that the issue of environment is given priority for sustainable development.

For her part, Dodoma Regional Commissioner Rosemary Senyamule said that the region is proceeding with the campaign of restricting the use of plastic bags.

She said through collaboration with NEMC, the region has managed to shut down a factory which produces plastic bags.

She said the region continues to provide education to the public in markets and other public places to ensure that people shun using   plastic bags.

The RC also said that the region will continue with efforts to protect water sources including Mzakwe water source by ensuring that the area is planted enough trees.

The cleanliness exercise at the petty traders’ market involved various leaders, citizens and other people.

The World Environment Day which is marked on every June 5, and was developed as a platform to raise awareness on the problems facing our environment such as air pollution, plastic pollution, illegal wildlife trade, sustainable consumption, sea-level increase, and food security, among others.

This year’s international theme focuses on solution to plastic solution.

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