, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 10 – The government will inspect hotels at the Coast to ascertain the status of their waste and sewerage disposal channels.
Deputy Speaker Farah Maalim on Wednesday directed Environment Assistant Minister Ramadhan Kajembe to investigate claims by Members of Parliament that a number of hotels in the area were directing raw waste into the Indian Ocean.
Mr Kajembe agreed to engage the National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) in the process and present a report to the House within 21 days.
“I undertake that I will go with officers from NEMA to every hotel and household and bring a report to the House within three weeks. This will however necessitate us to work day and night,” he said.
“The chair directs that the question appears in the order paper three weeks from today,” the Deputy Speaker ruled.
Mr Kajembe was responding to a question by Naivasha MP John Mututho who had claimed that various luxury hotels at the coast were discharging raw waste into the ocean.
Mr Kajembe had exonerated hotels from the accusations and said that the resorts discharge their sewage in accordance with set regulations. Although he admitted that there are sewerage systems along the coast none of the hotels was disposing its waste directly into the ocean.
He said NEMA had initiated implementation of various regulations in order to safeguard the Ocean and other inland waters. The minister added that NEMA had prosecuted two hotels – which he declined to name – for breaching the rules.
However Mr Kajembe’s assertion attracted anger from lawmakers who maintained that a number of hotels and a prison were discharging waste into the ocean.
“The minister is burying his head in the sand. He must know for a fact that the hotels wait for the night when the tide is high and discharge the waste,” Kisumu Town West MP Olago Oluoch claimed.
“Is the minister in order to deny the truth? I can prove to him that there is a hotel in Lamu that discharges its waste in the ocean,” nominated MP Shakila Abdalla claimed.
At one point Mr Mututho who chairs the Departmental Committee on Agriculture, Lands and Natural Resources undertook to lead an inquiry into the matter within two weeks but the Speaker ruled that the ministry be given time to supply the House with a satisfactory answer.
“The question is to the Minister and not to the departmental committee. Under the circumstances the Chair has indicated what it feels it needs done in this case,” Mr Maalim ruled.
Mr Kajembe also told the House that the government would clean beaches of any waste dumped by beach boys and other traders.