Stephen Kuteesa, the executive director of Center for Peace and Conflict Mitigation Uganda (CEPCOM-Uganda), has urged the government to show political will to conserve the environment.
Kuteesa avers that the government is taking long to implement policies on, for instance, prohibition of plastic production to save the environment from the glaring side effects of plastic waste pollution. Kuteesa made the call while speaking at Buganda Tourism Expo at Lubiri palace, Mengo.
Uganda currently generates over 600 tonnes of plastics every day. However, about 41 per cent is recycled and 51 per cent of this is littered, hence posing a threat to the environment.
The poor disposal of waste in drainage channels has resulted in clogged and contaminated water sources, flooded drainage channels, and plastic waste polluted land for agriculture.
The above dangers, according to Kuteesa, are the force behind CEPCOM’s efforts to collect plastics and handle them in a useful manner in partnership with communities and other stakeholders.
Kuteesa said if a community fails to protect the environment and cut trees for charcoal, people will continue to face floods and landslides.
“If we indiscriminately keep on disposing of waste especially plastics and clog up in water channels, we shall have floods. When you see floods and drought, just know that somebody has been cutting trees. Clogged flooding comes as a result of indiscriminate disposing of waste,” he said.
According to Kuteesa, CEPCOM is mobilizing and sensitizing communities about the dangers of poor waste disposal. Their engagements, and operations, he said, are based on communities that collect plastics thrown on the roads and other areas like garbage pits and landfills.
He said that it is everyone’s responsibility to protect the environment.
“We mobilise and empower communities to be the primary champions in fostering activities geared towards protection, conservation and regeneration of the environment. We also organize sports activities on various themes about environmental protection.”