The National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) Board of Management held a meeting with the Council of Governors (CoG) Environment Committee at their offices at Delta House, Nairobi 2nd November, 2023.
The meeting was hosted by the Governor of Vihiga County, H.E. Dr Wilber K. Ottichilo who is also the CoG Committee chairman on Environment. The meeting was attended by H.E Governor of Taita Taveta, Hon. Andrew Mwadime and Kitui Governor - Dr. Julius Makau Malombe, EGH.
According to Dr. Ottichilo, NEMA and Governors will continue working together to streamline various areas of cooperation on devolved environmental functions. He added that they will also be working together to pull funds for climate change adaptation and other environmental initiatives. Moreover, Governors will be working with NEMA on the review of EMCA among other environmental laws to ensure that they incorporate the aspirations of their Counties.
The NEMA Chairman, Emilio Mugo expressed optimism that joint endeavours between the Authority and Governors will enhance mobilisation of resources to undertake various environmental initiatives as well as improve the cleanliness and health of environment throughout the 47 County Governments.
The NEMA Board of management and Council of Governors met to seek synergies on various devolved environmental functions.
These includes; Solid waste management – NEMA urged Counties to establish proper infrastructure to manage waste in line with Sustainable Waste Management Act, 2022 and Solid Waste Management Strategy, 2015. According to NEMA Director General, Mamo B. Mamo, EBS, the Authority will be working with the Counties to phase out dumpsites throughout the country and development of landfills and Material Recovery Facilities (MRFs) to ensure there is minimal waste. “60% of waste from households is normally organic waste which if it can be managed, the problem of waste management will be significantly reduced,” the DG stated.
The Counties were also urged to ensure segregation is done at source. This will make it easy for waste transporters to collect the waste. Moreover, NEMA will work with Counties to ensure that waste transportation vehicles are well aligned. Joint enforcement will also be conducted to enhance surveillance on waste management.
Noise regulation -The Authority urged Counties to address the numerous cases of noise pollution within their respective Counties. Despite the devolution of noise regulation, the Authority continues to receive several noise related complaints. Towards this end, NEMA will support Counties with noise meters and technical support to regulate noise pollution from various establishments such as churches, mosques and clubs. However, the DG emphasized that the implementation of noise regulation must be spearhead by the Counties as guided by the Noise and Excessive Vibrations Regulations which has mapped out noise levels for different areas.
Physical Planning and developments control - Counties were asked to streamline the change of use processes and develop solid development plans within their cities and towns to ensure developments are compatible in certain localities. Moreover, Counties were urged to lead by example by undertaking Environmental Impact Assessments for their developments. In addition, Counties are encouraged to develop master plans and zonation plans to ensure developments are done in systematic fashion.
Broken Sewerage treatment and inefficiencies of waste water treatment- Counties were also urged to enhance their sewerage treatment systems to ensure that water bodies are not polluted. Proper waste treatment facilities should be put in place in line with the Water Quality Regulations. The Counties should give priorities to expansion of sewer infrastructure especially in urban centres.
Gazettement of Environmental Inspectors - The Authority has already gazetted over 100 County Environmental Inspectors to enhance environmental laws enforcement. However, the DG noted that impersonation of environmental inspectors remains a big challenge. He asked the Counties to help to stamp out imposters of environmental inspectors.
Gazettement of CECs- The DG further urged Counties that have not gazetted County Environmental Committee (CECs) to ensure that they do so as the committee plays a pivotal role in addressing environmental issues within the County. He thanked various Governors for embracing the committees within their Counties.
Development of CEAPs- The DG urged the Governors to ensure their County develop County Environment Action Plans (CEAP).
Participation in global environmental activities - He also urged Counties to participate in global environmental activities to elevate the environmental agenda within their jurisdictions.