The Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Forestry, Keriako Tobiko has stated that the National Environment Management Authority is set to have more powers to prosecute environmental crimes when the Environmental Management and Coordination Act (EMCA) Amendment bill currently before parliament sails through.
The CS said this during an award ceremony for NEMA and National Environment Tribunal today at Michuki Memorial Park in Nairobi.
While awarding the NEMA board and management, the CS appreciated their hard work to deliver services to Kenyans amidst challenges. He aslo appreciated the support staff for their work which is hardly appreciated but contributes to delivery of services.
The CS noted that the award of NEMA as the Africa's Continental environmental regulator of the year 2022 is an indication of the good work being undertaken in the environmental sector countrywide which is being noticed globally.
The event was also graced by Registrar of the Environment Tribunal Ann Asugah, who was representing Hon. Chief Justice, Martha Koome. The Chief Justice stated that environment as envisionaged in the Constitution 2010 guarantees the right to a clean and healthy environment as an enforceable right. She urged participants to implore various ways in which environment can be improved.
NEMA Ag. Chair, Dr. Lul Abdiwahid enumerated some of the achievements that the Authority has made in the last two years such as;
1. Reviewed the Controlled Substances Regulations, 2007.
2. 2357 Cases relating to environmental offences prosecuted.
3. Finalized the Lake Olbolassat, Ewuaso Narok, Sio Siteko Wetland Management Plans.
4. Engaged the council of governors and county governments where 45 Committees have been gazetted.
5. Secured adaptation funds to support 11 Entities in climate adaption activities in 14 Counties.
6. Mobilized Kshs. 807Million from the World Bank to address issues of e-waste.
7. Planted 293,000 seedlings towards achievement of the 10% tree cover.
8. Public education and awareness on environment management.
9. Established an environmental licensing centre and online licencing platform.
10. Gazetted 106 environment inspectors from NEMA and the Counties.
As result of these remarkable achievements, the Authority has received several awards including; Strategic Development Goals (SDGs) Reporting and Implementation 1st Runners-Up for Yr. 2021, Public Sector Legal Department of the Year 2021 by the Nairobi Legal Awards, Africa’s Environmental Regulator of the Year 2022. NEMA Director General, Mamo B. Mamo was also recognised as Africa’s Public Service Sector CEO of the Year and also as Africa’s top 50 public Sector leader of Year 2022 during the 3rd Africa Public Sector Conference & Awards in Accra, Ghana.
Speaking at the event, NEMA Director General, Mamo B Mamo remarked that as the principal supervisor and coordinator of environment matters in Kenya, the Authority has endeavored to offer customer focused service delivery in its processes that ensures efficiency and Ease of Doing Business. To ensure provision of environmental services to all Kenyans, the Authority operates in all the forty-seven (47) counties across the country.
The DG expressed his gratitude for being awarded the Environmental Regulator of the Year 2022 in Ghana in May this year. He added that the award affirms the commitment by the NEMA in ensuring a clean, healthy and sustainable environment.
The DG added that everyone should be responsible for their environment and ensure it is clean.