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Why Kenyan men have rejected Nema’s new directive on use of kiondo bags

A directive by the National Environment Management Authority (Nema) to introduce the use of bags made of sisal, commonly known as kiondos, as an alternative carrier from the non-woven bags has been rejected by Kenyan men.

The men have rejected the use of kiondos describing it as a threat to their masculinity.

Most of them argued that the kiondo is such a feminine article and it would make men who carry them around on the streets look rather peculiar.


The kiondo is very popular among women in the rural areas for carrying foodstuff and other items.

The non-woven bags, introduced after the ban on plastic, were initially deemed to be eco-friendly.

The market has however been flooded with low quality versions which the authority says cannot be used multiple times and are disposed after single use, hence the ban.

In their place, on Monday Nema Director General Prof Geoffrey Wahungu Nema unveiled the newly approved kiondos and plastic bags.

However, on Twitter, the kiondo has been rejected right from the beginning.

“And DG is confidently lifting it? Like he cud carry it. How many are they in the market currently? Shd we carry them to and from work? What abt our brothers. Shd they be Carrying this to? Good for large amt of shopping but wht abt small shopping? Who advises you? Kuweni serious,” Nashpae tweeted.

“Nema mkona umama sana,” Eric Mugodo remarked.

“Has the @DCI_Kenya Seen this. Mnafaa kufungwa. Next mtasema mkate ifungwe na towel,” Hd_amor wrote.

“So nibebane na Kiondo nikienda supermarket?” Tim Kemboi asked.

“This will be challenged in court very very soon. What will African man carry? A kiondo or plastic which is still not degradable? Better the non-woven bags 100 times than these. This is to enrich few, Kenya no longer produce sisal for ciondo,” Marto said.