A booming, albeit illegal, trade in polythene materials, notably packing bags was busted a few days ago by a joint operation between Rwanda Environment Authority (REMA) and the police.
It has been flourishing near cross-border posts from neighbouring Uganda, and bread sellers have been identified as the major culprits dealing in this trade.
Everyone in Rwanda, including the smallest toddler, knows that polythene materials are bad for the environment, let alone its being illegal to import and distribute them.
It is part of a cost-free government policy to keep the environment healthy and unabused, and this is why we find it utterly unacceptable that people can still secretly and illegally import and use polythene bags, in flagrant disregard to the widespread harm they are causing this country.
This is why bread-making enterprises in Rwanda today are packing their bread in wax-coated packing bags which are environmentally friendly since they are bio-degradable. It is unacceptable that unscrupulous traders are importing bread products packed in polythene bags.
It is incumbent upon every Rwandan to jealously guard the precious environment bestowed upon them. Needless to say, we have only a small portion of cultivable land, and we cannot afford to abuse it by spreading materials that will lessen usefulness.
That is why we laud Minister Protais Musoni’s address to the nation yesterday on International Youth Day, where, responding to the day’s theme that was Youth And Climate Change: Time For Action, he appealed to the youth to uphold and protect the environment as they are the ones going to inherit the world tomorrow.
We take up his call and urge all Rwandans to discourage any actions that might harm the environment, and promote only such policies that will help to mend the damage that has already been perpetrated against it.
It is everyone’s duty to police the country against such abuse as was being carried out at the borders as trade.