For Rwanda gov’t, environment is top priority


KAMPALA, Uganda (eTN) – The parliament of Rwanda has now passed strengthened legislation, banning the import, use and production of all polythene bags inside Rwanda. The use of other plastics like buckets or margarine containers was not banned, as the new law specifically targeted plastic bags.

Uganda, in contrast, banned plastic bags below a certain strength only but was not ready to ban the polluting bags altogether, which continues to pose a grave problem for cleanness of the city and the country at large. The bags choke drainage channels, litter entire landscapes and have often lead to the death of domestic livestock and even wildlife after being thrown away indiscriminately.

The ban in Uganda removed a small section of the bags only from the market but the problem has only shifted to stronger type of plastic shopping bags, still given away freely at supermarket and small shops to consumers, who then often just throw them away instead of disposing of them in a recommended fashion.

Rwanda has spared itself from this entire problem by a complete ban and shoppers now use either conventional shopping bags made of jute or cloth and paper bags like used in the developed world.

Meanwhile, Rwanda last weekend celebrated its fourteenth Liberation Day alongside the traditional Independence Day, putting more distance between the gruesome genocide inflicted upon the Tutsi and moderate Hutu population, as the country continues its relentless march towards becoming a showcase modern society in Africa and rebuilding a thriving economy.