VANCOUVER, Canada: Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta has announced a ban on the use of single-use plastics in protected areas in the country.
The ban announced on World Environment Day covers national parks, forests and beaches, and will become effective on 5th June 2020.
The ban comes two years after Kenya banned the use, manufacture and sale of environmentally harmful plastics, polythene bags and packaging materials.
“As you are aware, Kenya is hosting to the global environment programme, and has remained a campaigner for a sustainable environment. In light of this commitment, two years ago we banned the use, manufacture and sale of environmentally harmful plastics, polythene bags and packaging materials,” the President said.
“Building on this, today we are announcing another ban on single use plastics in all our protected areas, including: National Parks, beaches, forests and conservation areas, effective 5th June, 2020,” he continued.
The President made the announcement when he addressed the plenary session of the ongoing Women Deliver 2019 Conference at the Vancouver Conference Centre in Canada.
He commended Canada for its leading role in the promotion of women rights through the Feminist International Assistance Foreign Policy saying the approach is changing the way the world views the place of women rights across the spectrum of issues in society.
“If the world is to prosper, offer good value of life to its citizens, offer good leadership that responds to the aspiration of its population, it must draw from all its peoples, and not just depend on about half of its population,” he said.
Speaking on the measures his administration has taken to advance gender equality, President Uhuru listed several interventions among them free maternity and immunization programmes in which the government has committed over 400 million USD.
He also mentioned the 100 percent transition from primary to secondary school target and the provision of sanitary towels to over 4 million girls in primary and secondary schools as well as the policy on reservation of 30 percent of all government procurement opportunities to women, youth and the disabled.
“I have deliberately undertaken initiatives aimed at promoting gender equality and empowerment of women and girls, as set in our development blue print, Vision 2030, ” the President said.
To drive the gender equality agenda, the President said his administration established a department which not only tracks and reports progress of interventions but also implements programmes that promote the wellbeing of women and girls.
He said Kenya’s efforts are informed by the Sustainable Development Goals and Africa’s Agenda 2063 which recognize gender inequality as a challenge that has resulted in women facing disproportionate incidences of poverty, illiteracy and disease across Africa.
President Kenyatta noted that war and conflict were among the critical challenges threatening the realisation of the gender agenda in Africa.