1,000 signatures reached
To: Minister of the Environment and the Protection of Nature, Pierre Hélé
CAMEROON: STOP PLASTIC, STOP FLOODING
We would like to urge you to take a harder stance against the use of single-use plastic in our beautiful country. The devastating impact that plastic pollution has on our environment stares us in the face everyday. Not only is it diminishing our quality of life, but has cost us life too. Plastic is a danger to the citizens of Cameroon, who remain at risk of flooding and landslides until something drastic is done to eradicate plastic pollution in society. We urge you to enforce the 2014 ban on the importation, production or commercialisation of non-biodegradable plastic bags.
Why is this important?
We seem to be failing the war against plastic in our country. We have long understood the negative impact plastic has had on the people of Cameroon, and have even taken steps to curb the problem by introducing into law a ban on the importation, production or commercialization of non-biodegradable plastic bags on April 1, 2014.
However, the law is not enforced and instead, we try to accommodate single-use plastic for the short term gains, by trying to ramp up recycling schemes which are not working. What is left is an erosion of our public infrastructure, where drainage systems become blocked, causing widespread flooding and putting the lives of citizens at risk.
In fact, the situation has become even more dire - constant urban floods in Douala and the recent deaths of 42 Bafoussam residents after their houses were swept away in a landslide is testament of that. And we need need to respond swiftly to this environmental emergency.
All in takes is the simple enforcement of a law that already exists.
In Kenya, for instance, where that have taken massive steps to enforce their ban of the plastic ban, there has been a massive, almost immediate, improvement on the state of the environment. They too faced a lot of resistance from the public, but they have learned to adapt.
We urge you to be as bold as the Kenyan government, and not to cave to pressure from those who have no concern for the citizens who are at risk - the most vulnerable of our people.