Tanzania president John Pombe Magufuli earlier this week made time to go fish shopping. He was pictured at a busy market in the commercial capital, Dar es Salaam.
His attendance at the market also allowed him to act by a recent total ban on plastics in the East African nation.
The BBC reports that the president said his visit was to “prove that the fishmongers and buyers no longer need to use plastic bags.” All his purchases were subsequently carried in a reed basket. Magufuli holds one handle of his basket whiles an aide holds the other.
Photos and videos shared on social media showed the president interacting with fish sellers as he walks through the stalls in the market. At a point, people are heard chanting praises for his presence.
The president is quoted to have said: “In a few years time the country will be safe from the effects of plastic bags.” He also praised nationals for embracing the ban.
“If you can remember that you want to buy fish then why don’t you remember to carry your bag from home.”
Reports indicate that plastic bags have long been the main option for selling fish and the effect of the ban was sure to impact trading but fishmongers are quickly adopting alternative carriers like paper, nylon bags etc.
Tanzania became the latest African country to enforce a full ban on plastics – starting over the weekend, June 1. The country joins over 30 other African states in a measure aimed at ending the environmental impact of plastics.
The mid-May statement announcing the ban read in part: “The Government of Tanzania wishes to make an official note to travelers planning to travel to Tanzania that from 1st June 2019 all plastic carrier bags, regardless of their thickness will be prohibited from being imported, exported, manufactured, sold, stored, supplied and used in mainland Tanzania.”
Rais Dkt— Swahili Times (swahilitimes) June 3, 2019
MagufuliJPakizungumza na wafanyabiashara wa samaki eneo la Feri kuhusu umuhimu wa kuachana na mifuko ya plastiki na kutumia mifuko mbadala, mara baada ya matembezi yake ya jioni. Rais pia amenunua samaki kwa kitoweo na kuwaweka kwenye kikapu chake, kisha kurejea Ikulu. pic.twitter.com/5UQxrSUYJW