Nema stamps authority on plastic bag ban in Migori

The Director of the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) in charge of Migori County, Parnwell Juma Simitu on Monday led a team of his officials in ensuring that the ban on plastic bags that came to effect on Monday was observed to the letter in the region.

The team visited the biggest Supermarket in Migori town, Bansi, and other small business places to ensure that all plastic bags still held in their stores do not find their way to the public.

The KNA crew that accompanied the team to their mission found out that most of the business people and especially Bansi management had already complied with the Government directive and had put the items under lock and key in their stores.

Addressing the press later, Simitu said his team was keen in ensuring that nobody went against the order that is aimed at ensuring a clean environment.

Our officers will not tire in this noble effort to change the environment that has been destroyed by mountains of plastic bag and we appeal to the public to support us, he said.

The official added that the ban was long overdue and residents must now be responsible enough to help clean out the mess in their homes, markets and towns without thinking the loss in terms of job loss or money.

The Bansi Supermarket General Manager, Paras Kathrotiya said that he has incurred a loss of Sh.300, 000 for plastic bags that he had in store.

Since we have no otherwise, we will have to find a way of doing away with this stock but we request the state to see the best way we can be compensated, he said.

He said they had already worked on an alternative way to replace the plastic bags with cotton and sisal woven bags and paper bags that are environmental friendly.

The cheapest bags will sell at the price of sh.10 to customers, he announced.

Most traders and customers interviewed said that they fully support the initiative and asked for goodwill from all leaders to ensure the success of the ban.

Many of the customers spotted at the local supermarkets and stalls seemed alive to the ban and had devised various ways of ferrying goods bought home, with some using baskets and even troughs.

I had to carry the good using my linen baskets to avoid being arrested by the Nema officials, said one customer.

But some customers wanted the NEMA officials to come up with a good alternative to replace the plastic bags and that will also ensure that their businesses are not affected in any way.

To date, NEMA has not categorically stated the best way the existing plastic bags can be disposed off at homes, towns and markets.

Source: Kenya News Agency