Thousands of people, including primary school children, university students and members of the public, have lobbied Members of Parliament and government, calling for urgent action to tackle the plastic pollution and critical loss of nature.
About 12,000 people gathered at City Square in Kampala on Friday before marching to Lugogo—pilling pressure on politicians, according to the organizers the World Wild Fund for Nature (WWF) whose members include aid agencies, social groups, and conservation organizations.
The action against plastic pollution comes after growing environmental concerns in the country and increasing warnings of the need for unprecedented action to tackle the menace.
The Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga who flagged off the march in city centre said she was much concerned by the magnitude of the damage caused by plastics, directing all government agencies charged with environmental protection to carry out research into proper plastic waste management to enable to government makes informed decisions on handling the highly contentious matter.
Ms. Kadaga noted that it is unfortunate that much of the information concerning plastics are global statistics that cannot be applied locally and hence a need for locally made research that can help in policy formulation and decision making.
The State Minister for Environment Anywar and WWF Uganda David Duli challenged government agencies responsible for government to do local research that can inform policy.
“I want to challenge the Ugandan agencies charged with the protection of our environment to carry out country-based studies on plastics so as to come up with facts that will help us in policy formulation and decision making.” She noted.
The speaker who is passionate about nature said there has been no serious action taken to regulate and protect the environment citing the National Environment Bill of banning polythene bags below 30 microns that was passed by Parliament in 2017.
“Let us participate in the Earth Hour campaign by raising our voices against plastic pollution. Let us take individual actions against plastic pollution and make institutional policies against plastic pollution to safeguard the environment for Nature and people to thrive,” Kadaga added, thanking WWF for taking charge of matters related to Mother Nature.
“Through your effort, hard work and persistence, we have seen Earth Hour grow from a mere small gathering of conservationists to include government, businesses, schools and the public and is currently standing at 1 billion globally and over 1 million in Uganda,” she said.