The National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) has extended the grace period it had given to those who breach provisions of the National Environment Act, 2019 by a month.
The authority had announced that it would launch the Administrative Penalty Scheme for Environmental breaches on April 1, 2023, but in a statement released on Friday evening, the enforcement has been paused for 30 days.
In the statement, NEMA executive director, Barirega Akankwasah says they made the decision after an engagement with the public transporters federation who requested for additional time to install dust bins to prevent littering from public transport vehicles.
NEMA has as such notified security agencies that no motorist should be arrested during the 30 days for lack of a dustbin.
“Today (March 31, 2023) we had an engagement with the public transporters federation led by their chairperson Mr. Rashid Ssekindi. The public transporters requested for additional time to install trash bins/bags in their vehicles. We have accordingly given them a grace period of 30 days to enable them install the bags/bins to prevent littering from public transport vehicles,” the statement reads in part.
“The enforcement teams are hereby notified accordingly that nobody should be arrested or fined for not having a trash/bag during this grace period of 30 days starting ls, April 2023. However, during this grace period, public vehicles or private vehicles found littering will be impounded and owners prosecuted in accordance with the law,” the statement reads further.
Relatedly, the UN Secretary-General called for a tough war on garbage. António Guterres was speaking at an event in the General Assembly Hall marking the first-ever International Day of Zero Waste.
He said the planet is literally drowning in garbage, and it is high time to clean up.
The Secretary-General said the global population is “treating planet earth like a garbage dump”, warning that the messy mountain will reach four billion tonnes by 2050.