KENYA: Government prepares new law on waste recovery - Living Environment

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Thursday, June 18, 2020

KENYA: Government prepares new law on waste recovery

KENYA: Government prepares new law on waste recovery©Enrico Tricoli/Shutterstock

A new environmental law is being prepared by the Kenyan central government. It is expected to improve waste management through reclamation and could create green jobs throughout Kenya's counties.

Reduction, reuse and recycling. These are the key words of the new bill being prepared by the Kenyan Ministry of Environment and Forestry. The overall aim of the new law is to improve waste management, especially waste recovery, throughout Kenya. With the next law, each county will be obliged to ensure that waste is sorted at source, i.e. in the neighbourhoods before recovery by the public cleaning service.

According to the Kenyan government, the country produces 22,000 tonnes of waste per day, 60 per cent of which is organic material, while 35 per cent and 5 per cent is recyclable and non-recyclable material respectively. The new law aims to transform the 60% of bio-degradable waste into manure for soil fertilization. At least 30% of the waste will be recycled, 5% will be incinerated and only 5% will end up in landfills.

The success of this bet would be a feat for Kenya, a country with famous landfills such as the Dandora landfill, located 8 km from the capital Nairobi. Covering 15 hectares, its size is increasing worryingly as Nairobi’s population grows.

According to Dr Chris Kiptoo, the Kenyan government will develop regulations on the use of environmentally friendly raw materials and cleaner production technologies. “This is a radical departure from the current practice where no one wants to touch the waste once it is produced, but it is transferred to landfill sites. Every citizen, business, county government and national government has a role to play. This change will create jobs all along the waste management chain,” says Kenya’s Minister of Environment and Forestry.

Jean Marie Takouleu

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