Nema should have consulted more on fees

Mamo Boru

National Environment Management Authority Director-General Mamo Boru at the newly restored Michuki Park in Nairobi on December 18, 2020.

Photo credit: Kanyiri Wahito | Nation Media Group

The National Environment Management Authority (Nema) on Monday announced that it would reintroduce the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and related fees from today. That means developers will pay more for the requisite building licences from the authorities, following a Cabinet approval on the same.

The Nema director-general had earlier suspended the EIA processing fee. The announcement read in part: “In order to facilitate ease of doing business, the government has decided to scrap the levying by Nema of the aforementioned fees.”

Reinstatement of the 0.1 per cent project value levy will definitely not go down well with investors, especially at this time that they are reeling from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and Russia-Ukraine war. Well, the environment watchdog desperately needs more resources if it is to effectively undertake its mandate under the Environment Management and Coordination Act (EMCA) 1999.

Nema will also reintroduce Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) processing and monitoring fees and the Environmental Assessment Experts registration and licensing fees.

With such amendments having a direct implication on the overall cost of living, especially in the infrastructural and housing dimensions, mwananchi’s input should have been sought.

Nema is mandated with, among others, safeguarding public health, the environment and enhancement of sustainable development as enshrined in the Constitution. But the common man should have been prepared for the changes through direct engagement or representatives at the regional and national levels. That’s the only way for them to appreciate the vicissitudes.

As Tom Smith said, “Leadership is the ability to facilitate movement in the needed direction and have people feel good about it.”

Edwin Murimi, Nairobi

* * *

Kenyans should take actions that would help save our environment from loss of species and destruction of the ecosystem. And one of the major things they are encouraged to do is plant trees.

Apart from giving off the oxygen that we breathe, trees have a lot of environmental benefits. These include reducing the amount of storm water runoff, which reduces erosion and pollution in waterways; improving air quality by filtering harmful dust and pollutants such as ozone, carbon monoxide and sulphur dioxide; and providing food, protection, and a home to animals.

It is advisable to plant trees that will only improve the environment. Species such as eucalyptus must be avoided as they have a negative impact on the earth. Farmers should replace them with trees such as avocado, which conserve the environment and generate income.

Barrack Osendo, Kisumu


You're all set to enjoy unlimited Prime content.