As unscrupulous traders circumvent the presidential ban order through smuggling
By: Yusuf M Hasan
Somalilandsun- Everyday over hundred thousand plastic bags are used for various purposes all over Somaliland.
This is against law plastic bags import and subsequent use in the country was banned in April 2015 by a President Ahmed Mahmoud Silanyo as a prelude to protecting the environment which is adversely affected.
The ban on plastic bags use in Somaliland was imposed by the head of state on the 15th April 2015 through a presidential decree #JSL/M/XERM/249-3178/042015 that also gave producers and importers a 120 Days stocks disposal grace period
Acclaimed by citizens whose only query was replacement the ban saw environmentally conscious investors and proprietors of Raho plastic factory based on Hargeisa immediately cease production of the bags said to have been the main product manufactured.
“ An appreciative state and citizenry shall pursue avenues of assisting companies affected by the plastic bag use order” stated the Somaliland first lady Ms Amina Sh Mohamed Jirde ‘Amina Weris’ during an inspection tour of the Raho plastic factory in Hargeisa which became the first to cease production of plastic bags following the ban order.
While a few upright merchants have ceased trading in the plastic bags and introduced an alternative and environment friendly one as replacement, some of their unscrupulous colleagues remain defiant.
According to a report by Hubaal newspaper a large consignment of illegal plastic bags is the country especially in the western district of Sayla from where several containers are reported to have been smuggled in from Djibouti.
While smuggling in itself indicates that the government has tightened regulations as pertains import of plastic bags, the administration should do more by arresting and charging those found supplying the banned items to the public.