Plastics are convenient, light and easy-to-use materials. They feature heavily in daily life such as when shopping, packaging and disposing of rubbish among other things. They seem nearly impossible to escape. However, while plastic is a joy to use, it’s got far reaching repercussions for the environment. Its material is durable and very slow to degrade. Therefore, when disposed of into the earth, plastic takes hundreds of years to decompose. This is a danger not only to the environment but also animals and humans alike.
In the Nile Basin region, Rwanda has successfully banned the use of plastic. In fact, any new visitors to the country are forewarned about bringing plastic into the country.
As we celebrate this World Environment Day 2018 under the theme “Beating Plastic Pollution”, it is a day to encourage worldwide awareness and action for the protection of the environment. It is also a day when people do something to take care of the earth. It could be cleaning up plastics in your local area, unblocking clogged drains, which resulted from an accumulation of plastic.
Whereas the Nile Basin Initiative is not directly involved in preventing plastic pollution, we are playing our part in protecting the environment in various ways such as encouraging tree planting, improving watershed management to protect ecosystems in the Nile Basin, promoting the efficient use of water, putting in place early warning systems which enable flood management, drought control as well as climate change and its impacts.
Nevertheless, let’s keep the Nile Basin healthy by engaging and encouraging more people to make wise use of plastic and be sensitive to the environment when disposing of it.