SAF- Teso leads the way on ending plastic pollution in Uganda’s smallest city

Posted on Aug 08, 2023
By Admin

By Nathan Eyagu



SAF- Teso, a nonprofit organization operating in the Teso sub region is championing the fight against the wide spread of plastic wastes around Soroti city.


Plastic pollution can alter habitats and natural processes, reducing ecosystems' ability to adapt to climate change, directly affecting millions of people's livelihoods, food production capabilities and social well-being if left unaddressed.


It has become a critical global environmental issue and Uganda is no exception. The country generates approximately 600 tons of plastic waste daily according to the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA).


 Every year globally, 19-23 million tonnes of plastic waste leaks into aquatic ecosystems, polluting lakes, rivers and seas.


Michael Anguria the CEO SAF-TESO a nonprofit organization and a Food Systems Activist and Climate and Health Defender, "health and food for all in Uganda is far from reality,it's myth because of the increasing deposits of waste in the urban and trading Centres,all major cities are flooded with wastes from plastic,food waste and Kaveera which are increasing to global Green Gas Emissions by 34% as there is no essential diet for people to eat and there is a cute food crisis in the country",


Aguria notes with concern that the amount of plastic popularly known as Kaveera is increasingly becoming one of the major causes of food insecurity in the region as it accelerates the climate crisis.


In addition to the other environmental degradation and biodiversity loss as plastic pollution is an emergency hazard that is affecting healthy food systems in the developing countries like Uganda


It should be noted that in farming, Plastic waste can pollute the soil in agricultural areas, which will prevent plants from properly absorbing nutrients and thereby impede their growth.


The presence of plastic waste can obstruct irrigation systems, potentially causing crop losses and water stagnation.


In health, a number of concerns like malaria continue to raise as the wastes have blocked water passages hence making water stagnant and this act as breeding points for the mosquitoes that spread malaria and other water borne diseases.


Climate Change too is already accelerating as the risks affecting food production especially in the poorest countries, the world is faced with a global challenge of feeding 10 billion people by 2050 as the burning of the wastes release toxic gases into the environment that also affect the public as they breath in the poisonous air and also affects the formation of rainfall.


Anguria stressed that Uganda is experiencing high deposits of waste accumulation in all major urban and Peri urban areas, in addition all small trading centers are littered with waste as Ugandans have a poor culture of eating or drinking. Many Ugandans have the mindset of dropping plastics and Kavera anywhere after use.


He further explains that the global population growth will drive substantial increase in food demand especially in poorer nations like Uganda as more resilient food systems and sustainable agricultural practices like agronomy, agroforestry and agroecology are required to solve the issues of hunger, malnutrition, poverty and Environmental sustainability.


It's on this background that SAF-TESO is working closely with Global Partners and Media fraternity to create awareness for proper environmental health practices, waste management, public education for indigenous knowledge on food systems, and advocacy for nutritious food for all the people.


This is being done through encouraging, working and supporting rural small holder farmers to practice agro ecology and agroforestry as last mile solutions to improve food security, reduce GHG emissions and improve Adaptation and Mitigation as approaches for climate resilience.


In a recent interview with this website, Joshua Edogu the Soroti city mayor said that it is the role of every individual to ensure that the city is tidy but not waiting for communication from the leaders.


"We are introducing a system of commercializing garbage collection where people pay a certain fee to those collecting garbage, we collect revenue but later send it to the central team but when requesting for it, little is sent and this makes it hard to collect the garbage. Our people must learn to be responsible for their waste” he explained. 



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