NEMA seeks to enforce environmental laws

July 15, 2008 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, July 15 – The National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) has embarked on an initiative seeking to ensure that environmental regulations are adhered to strictly by all Kenyans.

Director of Environment Education at NEMA Dr Ayub Macharia said on Tuesday that the initiative, backdated to the beginning of July, is aimed at raising awareness on the need to conserve the environment.

Macharia has urged everyone to play their role by ensuring that they do not dump garbage haphazardly.

“The policemen will be out looking for people who violate this provision of the law. Not only on environmental impact assessment but also throwing garbage where one is not supposed to,” he pointed out.

The director was adamant that anyone found violating the regulations would face the full force of the law.

“When the policemen are passing around and see somebody with garbage dropping it along the street, you will be arrested.”

During an interview with Capital News, Macharia also presented NEMA’s progress in cleaning up the Nairobi River.

“The waste is being dredged from the river and so Nairobi will be a beehive of activity in the next two years as we clean the river, so that we present to Kenyans another recreation facility along the river.”

At the same time, the NEMA official urged Kenyans to ensure that waste from their homes is disposed of in a proper manner.

He called on private contractors to lend a hand in ensuring the proper disposal of waste products at the Dandora dumpsite.

“The government is planning to have a sanitary land fill and the plan is to have it at Ruai,” Macharia said. “It (Dandora) will be improved such that it will be made a better place where you can dump the waste in an environmentally friendly manner.” 

 “We need to blame ourselves for what is happening in Dandora because most of the waste that is there can be used as manure in our farms to improve the soil fertility.”

NEMA was allocated Sh350 million against the Sh1 billion it required in the last financial year, handicapping its operations.

NEMA’s role as a supervisory and coordinating agency is done in collaboration with other Government agents.

The Public Complaints Committee, for example, is a public watchdog constituted under the Environmental Management and Coordination Act, and its basic function is to investigate people, institutions and authorities that abuse the environment.

It probes issues related to environmental degradation and pollution like human settlement and infrastructure issues affecting the environmental balance of an area, as well as pollution and waste management.



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