By Samuel Opio
World Wide Fund for nature (WWF), a conservation organization has set February 13th 2020 to march on the streets of Kampala against plastic pollution in Uganda.
According to the country Director, David Duli, the campaign started against climate change but now they have rolled it to involve some other activities about nature.
Speaking to journalists at the country’s head office in Kamwokya, Mr. David said that this year the organization is making a campaign against plastics.
“We want to raise awareness on plastic pollution in our environment and its impact on our health, on our ecosystems, on our land productive capacity, marine ecosystems, freshwater ecosystems. We know that plastic started way back in the 50s with a bit of a small production, but now we have about 380 trillion tons of plastic being produced,” he said
He added that plastic production from its point of production usage and disposal are all negative to the environment.
“With this kind of production for example in Uganda as far back as 1974, the per capita consumption for plastic was on only 2kgs but now we are standing at about 46 kg per capita, so that’s very high and two thirds of that does not come out of the environment and it takes about 500 years for plastic to decompose,” he said.
This year’s theme will be held under “No to plastic and Kaveera Pollution, let Uganda breathe”. The team spearheaded by the Speaker of Parliament of Uganda Rt. Hon Rebecca Kadaga will set off from Kampala City Square to Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) grounds – Lugogo- a distance of five kilometers.
The organization has partnered with several entities including National Forest Authority (NFA), National Environment and Management Authority (NEMA) Plan International, Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) and Youth Alive Uganda schools and universities among others.
Mr. David, the campaign will to run for 1 month adding that “this is just initiating it, but it will run for one month and there will be a number of activities during the month.”
“We will be carrying out different activities with the students and the community do some little bit of cleanup to demonstrate that it works. We’re also going to engage with the plastic companies (companies that manufacture and recycle plastic), they need to come and talk to the public about what they’re doing.”
He urged the public to start using plastic responsibly and try as much as possible to move away from the use of plastic in our environment.
Communications officer WWF Mr Happy Ali said that he is engaging students from Makerere University, Kyambogo, and Kampala International University to come innovative ideas to handle plastic pollution.
“It is no doubt a crisis, but it is also one of the biggest opportunities ever presented to think differently, consume differently and take responsibility for our environment. Changing our behavior to address this environmental challenge effectively may just help us to develop the skill and understanding necessary to address some of the bigger, more intractable challenges. A shared interest in getting plastics out of nature could also be an important step in the big push necessary to shift towards a low-carbon society,” he said.
He also noted that WWF-Uganda will on the same day launch the Earth Hour 2020 Campaign, a global conservation initiative started and supported by WWF in 2007 where across the world, individuals, businesses, governments, and communities are invited to turn off their nonessential lights for ‘one hour’.