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Parliament passes National Environment Bill

Parliament has passed the National Environment Bill 2017

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The bill passed on Wednesday by Parliament seeks to repeal the National Environment Act Cap.153 and replace it with a law that conforms to existing Government policies and other relevant laws.

In the new amendment, corporate companies that litter plastic waste will pay a penalty of 10 million shillings.

For pollution and emission of the environment, one could face up to 15 years of imprisonment or pay 1 million shillings.

The Bill will also see 100% of the environmental levy go to the National Environmental Fund, which will fund enforcement to lead agencies and local governments that manage the environment.

It also creates special conservation areas around Isimba Dam, or areas around Kalangala and Lake Victoria among others, giving the Minister Powers to declare such areas protected.

According to Biyika Lawrence Songa, the Vice-Chairperson Natural Resources Committee says that the Bill calls for the banning of single-use carrier bags below 30 microns.

The manufacturers of polythene bags and plastics are also supposed to recycle plastic waste and also label the polythene bags.

The chairperson of the committee Keefa Kiwanuka says that industries engaged in producing plastics will be required to give an annual report on the amount of plastic they have produced, how much has been collected from the public and how much has been recycled.

The Bill also establishes the Environmental Tribunal and its composition, the tenure of office of members and their remuneration.

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