The KEPSA Energy and Extractive Sector Board held its monthly meeting on 11th December 2019. The main agenda of the meeting was to discuss the Energy Gender Policy and the Nuclear Regulatory Bill 2019.
The Energy Gender Policy was launched by the Ministry of Energy on 1st November 2019. This policy aims to raise the level of gender awareness, change attitudes and inculcate an engendered work culture among staff in the energy sector. This Policy demonstrates the Ministry’s commitment to enhancing the principles of equal opportunities for all persons such that no deserving persons are discriminated against based on gender.
The Policy seeks to provide a framework for state and non-state actors to mainstream gender in policies, programs and projects in the energy sector. Its development was supported by Practical Action and ENERGIA, the international network on gender and sustainable energy. It will guide the integration of gender by considering the needs of both men and women in all segments of the Ministry through gender analysis and integration of these needs in energy planning. It is further intended to strengthen institutional capacities for gender mainstreaming as a basis for gender-sensitive project formulation, implementation, and impact evaluation of all energy projects in Kenya.
The Nuclear Regulatory Bill 2019 was passed by the National Assembly and is awaiting Presidential assent. The principal objective of the bill is to repeal the Radiation Protection Act (Cap. 243) and provide for a comprehensive regulatory framework, for radiation and nuclear safety, nuclear security and safeguards to control radiation sources, nuclear materials and associated waste. The Bill aims to protect the people, property and the environment from the harmful effects of exposure to radiation and to provide for nuclear safety and non-proliferation as per national and international obligations.
If assented by the President it shall regulate safe, secure and peaceful development, production, possession, use, storage, disposal, transport or handling of nuclear and radioactive materials and other activities generating ionizing radiation.
The bill proposes the establishment of the Kenya Nuclear Regulatory Commission as an independent and autonomous body, domiciled in a neutral administrative Government Ministry, from the user Ministries, in line with Kenya’s development agenda.
The sector board members were happy with the launch of the gender policy since the policy is the first such legislative instrument on the African continent. The members were also happy with the Nuclear Regulatory bill proposal on the establishment of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission as a body to regulate the nuclear sector not only as sources of power but the sector in totality.