Warning: Trying to access array offset on value of type bool in /usr/www/users/urnnet/a/story.php on line 43
MOH Joins Environmentalists Initiative to Curb Littering of Face Masks :: Uganda Radionetwork
Breaking

MOH Joins Environmentalists Initiative to Curb Littering of Face Masks

250 youths will be trained in recycling in a project birthed from the prediction that with school reopening, there is likely going to be increased littering and mask sharing between students, something that can predispose them to infections.
NEMA says Producers of Face masks will be fined for litered masks

Audio 1

Environmentalists have embarked on training youths on recycling and making briquettes out of single-use face masks, amidst reports of improper disposal.

Edwin Muhumuza, the Chief Executive of Youth Go-Green Uganda, an umbrella organization for young people engaged in climate change interventions says 250 youths will be trained in recycling in a project birthed from the prediction that with school reopening, there is likely going to be increased littering and mask sharing between students, something that can predispose them to infections. 

He said they are piloting their project in Kampala and Gulu cities and if it’s successful, the innovation will be replicated in other parts of the country. As part of the project, they will be sensitizing people on proper use and disposal of masks, something that they will do jointly with the Ministry of Water and Environment, KCCA in addition to the Ministry of Health (MOH).

Already, Dr Mariam Mulungi, an epidemiologist based at Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) says there’s a problem that there are no clear guidelines on how used masks can be disposed of.

//Cue in; ”Seeing youths coming…

Cue out…from anything else.”// 

Emmanuel Ainebyoona, the Public Relations Officer of the Ministry of Health said they joined the project after realizing that the public was generally not complying with guidelines of mask disposal that they issued at the beginning of the pandemic.

As a result, he says, used masks and the polythene bags in which they are packed have ended up in the drainage channels contributing to the growing challenge of pollution. 

The MOH had initially issued guidelines of mask-wearing encouraging the public to use non-medical fabric masks but, Ainebyoona reports that this guideline has been largely flouted as the public prefer disposable ones whose disposable guidelines aren’t followed.

Dr Akankwasa Barirega the National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) Executive Director said they already predict the plastic pollution burden will increase even though they haven’t yet done analysis yet to determine the extent of the problem.

Barirega notes that prior to the pandemic, Kampala alone was generating 1500 tonnes of waste daily which included plastics like polythene bags and yet city authorities only have the capacity to dispose of about 40 per cent of that.

The rest, he says end up in the environment and this burden is bound to increase with masks being thrown all over and yet the law clearly puts the responsibility of disposal to manufacturers. NEMA boss warns that soon, they will start fining manufacturers for improper disposal.       

Support us


Images 1

Entities

Keywords