Kakamega County residents debate Bill on Climate change
Written by John Kabaka
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Mps from Left Benjamin Lang'at,emgwen, David Koech Mossop and Emuhaya Mp Dr Wilbur Ottichilo addresses the media in kakamega after a climate change hearing and sensitiuzation workshop.Photo I John Kabaka
The Bill which seeks to create an authority to help the country deal with the challenges faced by climate change is now waiting to be sent the government printer.
The Bill, by the parliamentary caucus on issues of climate change which is led by Emuhaya Mp Dr Wilbur Otichilo is presently before the speaker of the National Assembly Kenneth Marende for scrutiny.
Otichilo, who is an environmental scientist, said the current extreme weather patterns being experienced in the country made it imperative for the country to come up with a law that would help in instituting measures to deal with the effects of climate change.
"We need a policy and legal framework to guide this before it is too late,” said Otichilo during a public hearing and sensitization workshop in Kakamega.
The MP said that while issues of climate change were presently under the National Environment Management Authority, the current law was limiting and could not be relied upon to address emerging issues of climate change in various sectors of the economy.
The Bill will streamline the management, coordination and financing of climate change intervention measures which are currently being carried out in a haphazard manner by various government departments and other stakeholders.
It proposes the establishment of a Climate Change Authority, whose key functions will be to advise the national and county governments and public awareness.
The Bill also provides for penalties for those who will violate the law in climate change mitigation and adaptation.
A fine of Sh 2 million or 5 years imprisonment has been proposed.
“Any one violating the climate change law will be fined Sh 2 million or will serve a 5 year imprisonment or even both,” said Ottichilo.
Accompanying him were mps David Koech (Mossop) who urged Kenyans to plant more trees to attain the need of at least having the Nation’s 10% forest cover, Lurambi mp Manyala Keya, Khwisero Mp Evans Akula, Emgwen Mp Benjamin Lang’at, Budalangi Mp Ababu Namwamba,Kanduyi Mp Alfred Khangati.