Why Nema postponed enforcement of dustbins in cars

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The postponement followed protests from various stakeholders led by ULS on grounds that there is no enabling law that Nema is relying on to enforce motorists to carry dust bins in their cars

The National Environment Management Authority (Nema) has postponed the enforcement of a directive, requiring all vehicles, both private and public, to have dustbins.

Why Nema postponed enforcement of dustbins in cars

In a statement released on Friday, a few hours to the commencement of the enforcement on April 1, the Nema executive director, Dr Barirega Akankwasa, said the enforcement has been halted for at least 30 days after an engagement with public transporters.

“The public transporters requested for additional time to install trash bins or bags in their vehicles. We have accordingly given them a grace period of 30 days to enable them install trash bins or bags to prevent littering from the public transport vehicles,” Dr Barirega said in a statement on Friday.
“The enforcement teams are hereby notified that nobody should be arrested or fined for not having a trash bin or bag in their vehicle during this grace period starting April 1, 2023,” he said.



He added that the grace period is applicable for both private and public vehicles but any vehicle seen littering or throwing trash will be impounded, the owner arrested and then prosecuted.

“Note that the administrative fines are voluntary and a person who doesn’t prefer the fine will be subjected to prosecution and imprisonment of a fine as determined by court,” Dr Barirega said.

The postponement followed protests from various stakeholders led by the Uganda Law Society (ULS) on grounds that there is no enabling law that Nema is relying on to enforce motorists to carry dust bins in their cars.

Mr Bernard Oundo, the ULS president, yesterday in a telephone interview, said: “Our position is very clear, there is no offence for not carrying a dustbin in under our laws and, therefore, Nema cannot implement a law that doesn’t exist.”


In February, Nema announced that it was set to implement a new express penalty scheme intended to deter non-compliance to environment laws and to prevent environment degradation.
Among the new regulations, every car is supposed to have a dustbin and any found without one will see the driver arrested or fined Shs6 million.

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