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Sunkuli emphasizes the ban on plastics will not change 




The State Department of Environment will enforce the ban on plastic carrier bags immediately after expiry of the Tuesday deadline.

 

Principal Secretary Charles Sunkuli while making the announcement said the ban was critical in reducing pollution and environmental degradation.

 

The PS further urged the Kenya Association of Manufacturers to encourage recycling companies to take on board the waste on plastics and produce plastic poles which the government has not banned.

 

Speaking Friday when he toured the Lenkong dumping site in Ngong town, Sunkuli said there is no turning back on the ban, saying it will take effect on Tuesday.

 

He said the government will ensure that the production and supply of plastic carrier bags which consist of 90% waste is reduced.

 

In a press statement on Thursday, Sunkuli said over 40 manufacturers were showcasing the alternative bags that are set to replace the plastic carriers, and that the government would provide subsidies to the alternative bags manufacturers.

 

Residents of Ngong town have been exposed to health risks as a result of the Lenkong dumpsite, and called on the government to relocate the site.

 

According to the incoming Kajiado governor Joseph ole Lenku, who accompanied the PS, the county was committed to re-locating the dumpsite to the proposed Kibiku land fill, where waste will be sorted and recycled.

 

He thanked the national government and in particular the Ministry of environment and the Treasury for supporting them through securing financial help to the tune of Sh 2.1 billion.

 

Ole Lenku explained that the UN habitat will undertake a feasibility study and do an impact assessment within 6 months or less, and assured the residents that the monumental task is expected to be completed in the next 2 to 3 years.

 

“Today is my third day in office and I want to commit that this flagship product with the support from other players will ensure the people of Ngong live in a secure environment,” Lenku said.

 

He added that once the Ngong dumpsite is successful, they will do the same to the Kitengela dumpsite, which he noted is massive and unfriendly.

 

Speaking on the plastic ban, the governor supported the government saying 90 percent of the waste on Ngong dumping site is plastic as it is everywhere else.

 

“This is a good move by the government and we want to support it fully.  Although we sympathize with the industry owners who have invested lots of money, the common good supersedes the suffering of a few investors,” Lenku said.

 

The current dumpsite that lies on a 5 acre plot was initially for a school, and the governor said its relocation will pave the way for its rehabilitation so that it is given back to the school.

 

Most residents are however afraid that most of them who used to work on value addition activities at the dumpsites will lose their jobs.  They were however assured that they will be retained under the new relocation.

 

 

By Wangari Ndirangu

 

 

 

 

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