KAMPALA — A recent investigation by Nation Media Group indicated that a number of freshwater sources in East Africa including Lake Victoria are contaminated with heavy plastics and other microbial organisms that have adverse effects on human and aquatic life.
Water sources including Ggaba Landing Site in Kampala, Masese Landing Site in Jinja, Nakivubo channel that drains into the lake and the Source of Nile in Jinja are all toxic.
Commenting World Water week celebrated in March, World Wide Fund for Nature Uganda country director David Duli said a number of water sources have been clogged with all kinds of rubbish, including plastic materials.
This, according to Mr. Duli whose organization has embarked on camping to restore revere Rwizi in Western Uganda, poses danger to water sources.
He said these water resources are becoming more stressed and, therefore, the need for stakeholders to quickly address the matters.
He said that plastic is made to last, so it degrades very slowly in the seas, breaking into smaller and smaller fragments.
Lakes and the city are choking on plastic junk—millions of tonnes of water bottles, soda bottles, drinking straws, and single-use plastic bags.
Worse still, what we see floating on the surface accounts for only 5% of all the plastic litter that has been dumped.
Quoting a recent study, Duli said Kampala city alone produces over 600 tons of plastics and only 6% is processed and recycled while a recent study shows that 95% to plastics dumped in water sources is beneath the surface, where it strangles underwater creatures and wrecks aquatic ecosystems.
“The impacts are evident, in the wetland, by the roadsides, in the drainage systems and all around. This is causing a lot of worries in terms of the impacts that relate to the environment. “
“It takes more than a hundred years for a single plastic bag to decay, and that creates a huge problem,” he noted adding that WWF was committed to supporting the government in the fight against plastic pollution.
The government last month resurrected a ban on plastic bags of 30 microns and below. It also imposed heavy taxes on plastic bags of the size between 30 microns and 100 microns.