State preparing new regulations to tackle waste disposal

Cows feeding on plastic wastes from an open garbage disposal in Nairobi on January 25, 2024. [Collins Oduor, Standard]

The government is preparing new regulations to streamline the disposal of wastes, including hazardous industrial materials.

This emerged yesterday as the National Assembly Committee on Health toured the country’s sole radioactive waste management facility in Kajiado County.

The Central Radioactive Waste Processing Facility station, built inside Oloolua Forest, is the interim storage and processing installation for all radioactive waste produced in Kenya.

It was built in 2010 and commissioned in 2022 by the government through the Kenya Nuclear Regulatory Authority (KNRA) with the support of international partners, including the United States government.

“We have developed a set of nine regulations which we believe with further streamline waste disposal, besides protection of lives, property and the environment from harmful effects of radiation,” KNRA Director-General James Keter told MPs at the facility yesterday.

Kenya generates between 3,000 and 4,000 tons of waste per day, with Nairobi alone contributing between 2,000 and 2,500 tons daily, including potentially radioactive materials.

The House committee members were accompanied by Public Health Principal Secretary Mary Muthoni and KNRA chairman Omondi Anyanga. KNRA estimates that Sh350 million would be required to complete phase one of the facility.  

Committee chairman Robert Pukose said the authority will appear before Parliament next week to put forward its funding request and table a breakdown of expected expenses towards finishing up phase one and starting phase two of the project.

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