Environment, Water and Natural Resource Sector Board hold its third quarter meeting

The Environment, Water and Natural resource sector board held a meeting on 6th September 2017 at KEPSA offices. The key issues discussed during the meeting was the plastic ban, the draft National Waste Management bill and the Integrated Solid waste Management Position Paper.

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The National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) on 28th August 2017 started enforcing the plastic ban gazette notice number   2356 issued on 28th February 2017. The gazette notice exempted the primary packing materials from the ban. NEMA requires that exempted products and/or operations to be undertaken under stipulated regulatory rules and conditions so that the Authority’s compliance monitoring mechanism ensures that the regulated community operates within acceptable levels. However, though NEMA has allowed the companies with product which are exempted by the ban and have applied for clearance to continue packaging, the condition under which the clearance is given especially primary packaging are very stringent and not many applicants have been cleared. NEMA has turned down more than 60% of the applications. This is affecting the availability of some product in market due to the associated hefty fine.  The take back scheme that is also not clear. Going forward, the sector board will explore avenues of collaborative engagement with NEMA.

The Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources had drafted The National Waste Management Bill, 2017 that seeks to establish an appropriate legal and institutional framework for the efficient and sustainable management of waste. This is within the framework of the green economy, realization of Kenya’s Vision 2030 zero waste goal, and the provision of a clean and healthy environment for all Kenyans. KEPSA had developed and submitted the first memorandum drawn from members input to the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resource. The major concern from the members was the lack of clarity of the new institutions that will be created by the bill viz a viz the existing institutions on waste management regulation which had the potential of creating conflict.

Integrated Solid Waste Management Position Paper, put together by the KEPSA Environment, Water and Natural Resources Sector Board, articulates the need to formulate an integrated waste management implementation plan to build upon existing waste management legislation and strategies. It furthermore aims to offer continued support to the national government, its agencies and the county governments   in its waste management efforts. This includes the support in formulating laws, regulations and incentives and the waste management cycle in Kenya, which strengthen Kenya’s ambition to become a middle-income country by the year 2030. It also includes support in acknowledging Kenya’s commitments to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) mitigating direct and indirect effects of greenhouse gas emissions via urban and industrial waste. Going forward the position paper will form the basis of engagement with the relevant government agencies both national and county level. This would be refined further with the wider input of the KEPSA membership before presentation to the Ministry and NEMA.