NEMA Director Dr. Ayub Macharia addressing manufacturers at Sarova Stanely [PHOTO: SAMWEL IRUNGU/NEMA]
The National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) has partnered with the Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) to enhance environmental compliance for the industry’s sustainable development.
Essentially, manufacturers are some of the major drivers of the Kenyan economy. However, in their endeavors, they are required to comply with various regulations aimed not only to create a clean and healthy environment but also increase their sustainable development. In the past, there has been numerous hurdles related to environmental compliance and enforcement
KAM has membership all over Kenya and for this reason; the two organizations have held workshops in four regions namely Kisumu, Nakuru, Nairobi and Mombasa to sensitive manufacturers on environmental compliance.
The objective of the workshops has been; identify potential enforcement challenges and possible solutions, establish effective compliance system and encourage sustainable development.
According to the KAM Chief Operations Manager, Dalmas Okello, compliance is made easier when those required to do so are aware. He stated that there has been a gap in terms of compliance because some of manufacturers do not know what to do or who to engage when it comes to some of the regulations. He added that as a result of devolution, the country has witnessed overlap of roles creating a multiplicity of regulators. Mr, Okello urged NEMA to iron some of the overlapping roles as it is the national agency dealing with matters of environment.
NEMA’s director of environmental education, information and public participation, Dr. Ayub Macharia remarked that as the country progresses towards achieving vision 2030, there has been a steady but continuous growth of industries; for this reason, chances of degrading the environment are high. He noted that NEMA interacts with industries right from the EIA stage.
Dr. Macharia encouraged industries to comply with environmental regulations as NEMA may stand with such an industry if things go haywire. “NEMA may stand by such industries based on their history of compliance when problems occur”, he remarked. He added that industries should do their best to avoid being fined considering the fines have become more punitive in the amended EMCA.
NEMA’s Deputy Director Environmental Awareness and Public Participation, Mrs. Betty Nzioka, sensitized the members on the amended EMCA and various regulations that have been changed. Of particular interest is the section on environmental offences.
Under the amended EMCA, environmental offences now attract harsher penalties. Any individual or an entity found guilty will now be fined not less than Ksh 2million or imprisonment of not less than one year and not more than four years.
With this in mind, Mrs Nzioka encouraged industries to enhance their environmental compliance as the law is now clear what should be done. “I don’t think if there any individual or entity ready to part with Sh 2 million for failing to comply with environmental regulations,” Mrs Betty Nzioka stated.
Further, Mrs. Nzioka, urged industries to work together with NEMA in creation of awareness among the industrialists and manufacturers. “Don’t pass the buck, let’s do actual compliance” she stated.
The Deputy Director Compliance and Enforcement, Ms Salome Machua came strongly on issues of compliance and enforcement vis a vis environmental regulations. She began by stating that there has been enhanced compliance since 2003 when EIA/EA was put into practice. “75 percent of people have been