Government officials accused of punching hole in a ministerial order to ban the use of plastic bags in South Sudan

Joseph Africano Bartel the Undersecretary for Environment in the National Ministry of Environment and Forestry has accused some senior government officials and some influential figures in the army for reintroducing the importation and use of the previously banned plastic bags.

The undersecretary who was speaking during the launch of world environment week which started on Tuesday says a ministerial order banning the use of plastic bags in the country was passed sometimes back but became so difficult to implement because it cannot be used in the court of laws to prosecute the offenders since the orders are mere papers meant to scare people.

Africano says the orders were supposed to be implemented by the city council assisted by other security organs, and for a while it was being adhered to especially during the reign of Stephen Wani the former mayor whom he says was so cooperative.

He supplemented by further saying that things began to fall apart when the new mayor was influenced by the traders who told him they had large volume of plastic bags in their stores and needed time to clear the stores thus offering latitude for some opportunists in Government connected to MI and SN to resume the importation and use of the banned products with impunity.

“These are people who have connection with MI, NS and when national security arrest them for importing this product, they are let off because they are not easy people. He laments.

He however, revealed that, the security will soon start an operation to confiscate the plastic bags from the market and there will be a name and shame of the perpetuators by printing and publishing to the public their names.

Government of South Sudan banned the importation and use of plastic bags in the country and introduced the use of paper bags in 2017.

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