Environmental activists lament lack of political will in deterring production and use of thin plastics

By Humphreys Bomba

Environmentalists in the country, say continued lack of political will from authorities in implementing a ban on the production and use of thin plastics, is a huge blow toward the effective implementation of the ban.

A renowned environmental activist, Maloto Chimkombero has since suggested the need for the Ministries of Natural Resources, Energy as well as Justice be proactive towards the implementation of the ban, arguing that the delay has induced challenges in environment conservation.

Chimkombero said much as stakeholders and the government have a common goal in ensuring that Malawians adopt the use of clean energy, there is a need for pro-activeness by the government towards implementation of the ban, adding that it may have a great interference in the efforts to attaining Malawi’s blueprint MW2063 Vision.

He further laments the delay in the judicial system in processing the legal ban, saying it has contributed to the wreckage of the lives of people in the country, especially in the agriculture sector.

“What we want is to see the government being on the forefront towards promoting the law,” he said.

Concurring with Chimkombero, another Environmental Activist Mphatso Mkumpha, said although there is a dilemma between social economic development and environmental aspects in the country, it is high time the country must embrace what other countries are doing on the matter.

Mkumpha believes lawmakers will consider full implementation of clean energy in the forthcoming parliamentary deliberation of the 2023-2024 financial budget, which is due to commence on February 17th, 2023.

“I believe members of parliament will thoroughly discuss the issue and ensures that the law is enforced. We believe in action than speaking because climate change effects that we are facing are a result of the continued negligence in adopting measures to restore our environment,” said Mkumpha.

Stakeholders in the environment sector, started advocating for the ban of single-use plastics in 2014, a move that prompted legislatures to table a discussion on the issue in the August house in 2017.

In 2016, the Ministry of Natural Resources imposed a fine of K250, 000 each on eight prominent shops in Lilongwe for not complying with the ban on thin plastics.

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