The African Union Commission has appointed Gambian First Lady, Fatoumata Bah-Barrow to head its war on plastics which are polluting the continent.“In this new role, the continental body would rely on First Lady Barrow’s wisdom and good office to spearhead the regional campaign to ban and eradicate plastics on the continent” a statement from tState House in Banjul said.
Mrs. Barrow’s appointment came during a session on the banning of plastics in Africa on the sidelines of the African Union heads of state summit currently underway in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa.
The Gambia four years ago joined a handful of countries in Africa where the use of plastics was banned.
Reacting to her appointment First Lady Fatoumatta Bah-Barrow said her new role would avail her the opportunity to lend her voice to the global advocacy for a cleaner and healthier planet.
She vowed to exert all her energies toward realizing the objective of banning the use of plastics across Africa.
‘’As the Chair for West Africa, I am committed to the gradual eradication of plastics through advocacy and awareness raising on the impacts of plastics, and share experience on strategies and measures being undertaken to address the plight of plastics”, the statement autoed her as saying.
The AU has expressed increasing concern about the rising pollution levels in African cities from plastics, prompting its campaign for a pollution-free continent.
According to contemporary figures, an estimated eight million tonnes of plastic are polluting the world’s oceans.
Environmentalists are warning that if this pollution trend continues, by 2050 the oceans will have more plastics than fish.