Kenya pledges stewardship to boost regional anti-pollution initiatives

Nairobi –   Kenya on Wednesday pledged to take up the leadership mantle in order to boost regional efforts aimed at containing the menace of pollution.

Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Natural Resources Judi Wakhungu said in a speech read on her behalf by the Director General of National Environment Management Authority (NEMA), Geoffrey Wahungu.

“Nairobi is in a vantage position to advance regional anti-pollution war based on its abundant expertise, innovations and macro-economic strength.

“As a government, we take the issue of solid waste management seriously and are ready to partner with neighbouring countries to help them address pollution in their backyard,’’ Wakhungu said.

The ministry of environment had organised a symposium on the sidelines of the third edition of United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA3) to explain steps it had taken to eliminate plastic pollution.

During the assembly which ended in Nairobi, Kenya earned accolades from world environment ministers, campaigners and industry executives for enforcing a historic ban on manufacture, sale and use of plastic bags.

The ban was hailed as a precedent setter in the global efforts to eradicate plastic waste choking oceans, land and fresh water bodies.

Wakhungu said the East African nation had put in place solid measures to hasten attainment of pollution free status in line with global and regional pacts.

“The pollution control agenda is being implemented at all levels of our society to realise human and ecosystems health. Kenya can offer guidance to its neighbors on how to achieve environmental sustainability,’’ Wakhungu said.

Kenya has pioneered globally recognised initiatives to boost management of solid and liquid waste.

NEMA’s director-general Geoffrey Wahungu said enactment of robust policies and legislation has encouraged investments in waste recycling and ecosystems restoration.

“We have a vibrant waste recycling industry that has created millions of jobs while providing revenue to the exchequer.

“Regional cooperation is crucial to boost action on emerging pollution challenges like electronic waste,’’ Wahungu said.

He noted that knowledge sharing and skills transfer will strengthen regional efforts to halt cross- border movement of hazardous waste. (Xinhua/NAN)

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