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Waste is an economic opportunity -Tobiko.

The Ministry of Environment has proposed processing of waste to create jobs and attract investment.

Historically, waste has been viewed solely as a problem.

This, the ministry says, needs to change to increase the value of waste to the Kenyan economy over time.

Environment CS Keriako Tobiko in the National Waste Management Policy says waste, if processed well through reusing,recycling, or composting, will produce useful products or sources of energy.

"If properly managed as a resource, waste recovery and recycling can create new jobs and attract new investment in a diversified waste sector," part of the policy says.

The Kenyan National Climate Change Action Plan 2018-2022, says the volume of solid waste generated across Kenya's urban centres increased from 4,950 tonnes per day in 2011 to 5,990 tonnes per day in 2014.

The policy notes that effective waste management will reduce emissions from greenhouse gases, especially methane, from the waste sector, contributing to the achievement of Kenya's Paris Agreement commitments, and reducing industrial waste.

Kenya has pledged to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30 per cent by 2030.

The policy commits the government to establish legal frameworks and take actions that will enable Kenya harness and incentivise large-scale investment in the waste recovery and recycling.

Tobiko says the country aims to create the necessary regulatory environment tackle the waste challenge.

This, he says, is through systematic collection of waste sorted at source and disposal, processing activities aimed at reusing, recycling or composting waste materials into useful products or sources of energy.

The policy also supports the creation of the planning, finance, technical and governance capacities county governments need to deliver on their mandate.

"Inefficient production processes, low durability of goods and unsustainable consumption and production patterns lead to excessive generation of waste. This overburden and pollutes Kenya's land, air and water resources," Tobiko says.

He said despite efforts to encourage reuse, recycling and recovery, the amount of solid waste generated remains high and appears to be on the increase.

In addition to solid waste, wastewater effluents represent one of the largest threats to the quality of Kenya's water resources.

Wastewater often results in increased nutrient levels leading to algal blooms and depleted dissolved oxygen resulting in destruction of aquatic habitats.

Other categories of wastes that require special consideration are electronic waste, hazardous waste and medical waste.

To address the problem, the Ministry has developed three crucial documents that seek to guide waste management in Kenya.

These are National Sustainable Waste Management Bill, National Sustainable Waste Management Policy and E-Waste Strategy.

The three documents will now be subjected to public participation this month.

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Publication:The Star (Nairobi, Kenya)
Geographic Code:6KENY
Date:Jan 5, 2019
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