Nairobi — Kenya is partnering with Japan to explore ways to implement the recently passed Sustainable Waste Management Bill 2021, to enhance the country’s waste management systems.
On Tuesday, Japan and Kenya convened a Waste Management Symposium where experts laid out different strategies that would help Kenya transition from a nuclear economy to a secular economy.
The experts drawn from Kenya, Japan, and the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) among other agencies also discussed their experiences on waste management and its challenges and sought to understand possible solutions in each cycle of waste management in Kenya which continues to pose a major headache with increased urbanization and economic growth.
The panelists lauded a new waste management bill passed by the Senate saying it signals a new dawn as far as waste management in the country is concerned.
Ayub Macharia, Director of Environmental Education and Awareness at the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources said that the passing of the bill is a significant milestone for the country noting that it will help seal the loopholes that have made it difficult to manage waste.
Macharia said that the bill is timely pointing out that the linear waste management model that is currently being used has resulted in major challenges including uncontrolled dumping which is a threat to the environment.
He stated that the bill is timely, pointing out that the current linear waste management model has resulted in major challenges such as unregulated dumping, which is a threat to the environment.
“The framework law gives us a base to do baselines, especially through disclosure by producers when we finally implemented the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) law. The waste service providers are supposed to be happy now because the law says they need to be contracted, which is mandatory. They were not recognized before in law,” he said.
Macharia appealed for technical support from different partners to help transition the bill from policy to the point of implementation.
Richard Kainika, Kenya Association of Waste Recyclers (KAWR) Secretary-General said that to maximize the value extraction from the waste, recyclers need to focus on how to get to the waste as early as possible.
He pointed out that the main area they need to prioritize is the original point where waste is generated.
“One of the main areas that I would say we need to focus on is the consumers, once they have done, they consumption they need to get educated on how to separate the waste. As recyclers we call for tool separations,” Kainika said.
Kainika further decried what he termed unfair policy singling out licensing which he expressed confidence that the new bill will address.
The experts further called for increased education of citizens on waste management.
One of the provisions of the bill states that a person who does not manage waste in accordance with laid down protocols commits an offence and shall, on conviction, be liable to a fine not exceeding Sh20,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or both.
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