County Governments will have a huge role to play in environment conservation should the proposed legislation; dubbed the National Sustainable Waste Management Bill 2018, be passed by the legislature and assented to by President Uhuru Kenyatta.
The Bill drafted by the Ministry of Environment was created in an effort to establish an appropriate legal and institutional framework for the efficient and sustainable management of waste and the realization of Kenya’s Vision 2030 zero waste goal as stipulated by the 2010 Kenya Constitution.
“The County Governments shall be responsible for implementing the devolved function of waste management in accordance with all relevant national and county policies, laws, regulations and standards, and establishing the financial and operational conditions to effectively carry out this mandate,” the National Sustainable Waste Management Bill 2018 drafted by the Ministry of Environment reads.
Similarly, should the Bill pass, County Governments will be obliged to ‘bring their waste management laws into conformity with the national law within a period of one year after the entry into force of the Act’.
Consequently, the County Governments will be mandated by the Act to properly dispose waste within their borders by assembling resources and establishing designated dumpsites.
“For reasons of benefits from economies of scale, counties are encouraged to cluster into metropolises and pool resources for more effective waste management and designate at least twenty acres of land, in one or more lots that will be Gazetted as waste disposal sites,” the proposed National Sustainable Waste Management Bill 2018 reads.
Apart from tasking County Governments with the implementation of waste management, the Bill will also deter environmental pollution by introducing hefty jail sentences and large cash fines to those found guilty of contaminating the environment.
“A person who commits an offence under this Act or regulations made thereunder…shall be liable, upon conviction, to imprisonment for a term of not less than one year and not more than four years, or to a fine not less than Ksh.2 million and not more than Ksh.4 million, or to both such fine and imprisonment,” the Bill states.
The suggested decree aims to limit the mounting pollution problems that have plagued the country in the last two decades.