Government releases guidelines on use of fireworks during Diwali

A display of Fireworks at the UPA Plaza in Nairobi's Upper Hill area. [File, Standard]

The government through the Ministry of Petroleum and Mining has issued new rules on fireworks as Hindus across the country prepare to celebrate Diwali later this week.

The new rules and regulations are meant to help ensure that this year's Diwali and Hindu New Year celebrations go on without any hitches.

The Diwali festival is set to take place between October 24- 27.

The celebrations are normally characterised by a display of fireworks in major cities across the world.

According to the circular, one is required to get a permit from the Ministry of Petroleum and Mining offices in different regions in the country.

The circular has also highlighted that one is only supposed to use fireworks in venues authorised by an inspector of explosives.

These venues may include clubs, hotels, temples, sports grounds or school compounds.

"Fireworks are used only in authorized venues such as clubs, hotels, temples, sports grounds or school compounds or any other venue that is authorized by an inspector of Explosives," read part of rules in the circular.

The circular which highlights the rules and regulations under the Explosives Act Cap 115 also goes on to explain how the fireworks display should only be held between 1900 to 2300hrs on authorized dates.

Display shells are also limited to a maximum of four-inch caliber in all venues in urban and built-up areas.

Fireworks light up the sky at Afraha stadium in Nakuru. [File, Standard]

The circular ends with the Government allowing only qualified, experienced and sober persons to fire aerial shells.

On the dealer's side

The Government has asked dealers not to sell fireworks to children below the age of thirteen and if one is found guilty of doing so, he/she shall be punished under the Explosives Act Cap 115.

Fireworks dealers have also been asked to only sell Aerial display fireworks (Shells, Roman candle and cake) to holders of permits which must have been signed by an inspector of Explosives. The permits can be obtained at the Mines and Geological Department in Nairobi, Mombasa or Kisumu.