Nakuru bill proposes fine of at least Sh1m for polluters

Trucks offload solid waste at Gioto dumpsite in Nakuru Town on March 5, 2020.

Photo credit: Francis Mureithi | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • The Bill sponsored by nominated MCA Elizabeth Wacheke Gichuki proposes the tough measure to address management of solid waste, effluent and other hazardous waste that ends up in Lake Nakuru National Park.
  • The proposed regulation further says that individuals or firms that dump waste on land or any other place not designated for this shall be guilty of an offence and upon conviction, will pay a fine of not less than Sh200,000.

Any person who pollutes the environment will pay a fine of not less than Sh1 million and not more than Sh2 million, states the Nakuru County Waste Management Bill, 2020.

The Bill sponsored by nominated MCA Elizabeth Wacheke Gichuki proposes the tough measure to address management of solid waste, effluent and other hazardous waste that ends up in Lake Nakuru National Park.

In addition to the heavy fines, the firms or individuals may be directed by a court to pay the full cost of cleaning up the polluted environment. 

“The court may direct the polluter to meet the cost of pollution to any third parties through adequate compensation, restoration or restitution," reads the Bill.

It says that companies that wrongfully discharge harmful waste will be fined between Sh2 million and Sh4 million and that their officials will be imprisoned for no less than two years.

Land pollution

The proposed regulation further says that individuals or firms that dump waste on land or any other place not designated for this shall be guilty of an offence and upon conviction, will pay a fine of not less than Sh200,000, or face imprisonment for between six months and two years, or both.

On liquid waste management, it shall be the duty of every factory, garage, petrol station, car wash or firm where there is effluent to obtain samples and have them analysed by a recognised laboratory at intervals of at least six months.

“Any firm, factory, petroleum station or any other facility which discharges wastewater shall have an approved wastewater and mud traps, failure of which it shall be an offence and upon conviction, they shall be liable to a fine of between Sh500,000 and  Sh4 million or imprisonment of between two and four year, or both," reads the Bill.

According to the Bill, the county executive committee member, in consultation with the governor, shall impose a charge on the generation of solid waste within the county for purposes of meeting the cost of solid waste management.

Property owners in the county should be prepared for a new environment levy to be applied in waste management.

“The county Finance executive committee member will impose the rate of not more than two per cent of the property rates payable on the property," read the Bill that has so far passed the first reading. 

Vulnerable groups

The Bill also gives vulnerable groups opportunities in co-management of waste collection points and services.

"Pursuant to the Access to Government Procurement Opportunities Policy, the county shall provide preferential treatment to youth, women and persons living with disabilities in accessing 30 per cent of contracts for provision of solid waste collection services," read the Bill.

The Bill also proposes incentives for promoting waste separation and material processing, such as reduced fees, charges and levies for enterprises involved in the processing and transformation.

At the same time, every generator of solid waste shall separate the waste into categories including organic, plastics, paper, metals and any others provided for in the regulations.

Biomedical waste shall be disposed of through incineration in line with standards prescribed in the Environment Management and Coordination Act.

Residents and owners of private premises, who are fond of keeping junk waste, will be required to dispose of it within seven days from the date of notice.

fmureithi@ke.nation.media.com