Next Media Services, Stanbic Bank, Uganda Breweries Limited, and National Environmental Management Authority(NEMA) have today partnered to officially launch an environmental campaign dubbed ‘Taasa Obutonde’ which translates into ‘Let us save the environment.
Accordingly, the three-year campaign will focus on educating Ugandans and creating awareness about the proper management of plastic products.
The campaign will further help to facilitate behavioral change and encourage people to manage plastics including safe disposal and opting for other environmentally friendly alternatives.
Speaking at the launch, Next Media Services, CEO, Kin Kariisa urged partners to be the example in disposing of the waste in a responsible way so that many Ugandans can get converted.
Kin said Next Media’s job will be to use its channels to create awareness and to create behavioral change in the manner that Ugandans use plastic products as well as making sure that partners’ distributors take on this initiative.
“We shall use our channels; digital channels, radio channels, our television channels, our influencers, our on-air talent. Every show, every minute, every hour, we will be talking about this behavioral change,” Kin Kariisa said.
“So we believe in three years, we’ll have a better castle. so, we will make sure that what will define us in the great future will be our great sceneries, our great weather, our great beautiful people are greeted by responsible disposal of plastics”- he added.
Vivo Energy’s Managing Director, Gilbert Assi said the company will walk the talk through prevention of environmental pollution, reduction in air pollution, energy usage, and saving as well as a reduction in generation of hazardous waste.
“In all this, we are guided by the one principle that all organizations should abide by – that is doing business in the responsible, environmentally sustainable way; hence our gathering here today to officially launch these impactful plans that we envision for our communities through the Taasa Obutonde campaign”
He expressed optimism that the campaign will take several steps to the desired goal for a cleaner, safer, and more productive environment.
Dr. Tom Okurut, Executive Director, NEMA who was also the chief guest cautioned that the management of the environment should not be considered as the duty of only the government but rather all actors in the society.
“The private sector, civil society, Government and international actors need to collaborate and work together to share information, reach agreements and make commitments to solving environmental problems. The campaign that we are launching today is an indicator that players in the private sector, civil society, and Government are willing to work together to protect our environment”
He said the time is now to intervene and take action to nip the problem of plastics in the bud.
“We must educate the public and sensitize the masses about the best way to manage plastics. We must make re-cycling part and parcel of the plastics lifecycle, we must make it a habit to re-use plastics and where possible refuse single-use plastic bags and opt for alternative carrier bags”
Studies estimate that in Uganda, an average of 1,500 tonnes of plastic waste is generated daily, with only 500 tonnes properly managed. This indicates a collection efficiency of 30%, implying that most of the waste generated is not safely recycled and goes into the environment.
It has been proven that irresponsible use and disposal of plastics have far-reaching environmental and health risks to human and animal life.