Environment CS Judy Wakhungu has affirmed the government’s commitment to tackling pollution and environmental problems. While addressing the press in Nairobi ahead of the United Nations Environmental Summit, which is set to kick off on 4th December, CS Wakhungu said the government intends to maintain Nairobi’s status as the environmental program epicentre, “Kenya is committed to supporting the work of UN and desires to maintain Nairobi’s position as the central hub of the UN environmental program. The government recognizes the need to stop pollution from all sources and has instituted and implemented a wide range of policies and regulatory measures to eradicate pollution, particularly on air, land, water, marine and ecosystem.”
CS Wakhungu said the global environmental summit, which will bring together heads of states and governments, Ministers of Environment, scientists, financial experts among others, will lift Kenya’s stature, “This positions Kenya in global leadership of sustainable management of the environment,” she said. The theme of this year’s summit is “Towards a pollution free planet’ and over 2000 delegates attended the pre-discussions. She further urged Kenyans to welcome the delegates and treat them well, and likewise, urged the foreign delegates to sample the country’s rich culture and sites.
On the issue of plastic bags’ ban, the CS said the ban is proceeding well, despite challenges, “If you look at the environment now you can see how good it has been in terms of cleanliness. There are those who are going against the law, we have made like sixty arrests and we are going to step that up,” said Wakhungu. She said they are monitoring the ban and so far it’s working in the Counties and County staff who share the same ideology of a clean plastic bags free environment are helping a lot.
The CS remarked that the issue of solid waste disposal and management is devolved but the Ministry of Environment has a solid waste management policy which is currently in parliament, “We hope it will be approved by the parliament and allow us to move on to stakeholder engagement to improve garbage disposal and solid waste management,” she said.