SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH
DEPARTMENT OF EPIDEMIOLOGY AND BIOSTATISTICS
UNIT CODE: BPH 1101
INTRODUCTION TO ENVIROMENTAL HEALTH
SUBMITTED BY: JOB OCHIENG
REG NO. BHSM/2018/79467
CAMPUS: NAIROBI VIRTUAL
DATE OF SUBMISION: 26/10/2018
Discuss the relevant environmental health legislation in Kenya
The environment includes physical factors of the surroundings of human beings including land, water, atmosphere, climate, sound odor, taste, the biological factors of animals and plants and the social factor of aesthetics and includes both natural and the built environment.
Kenya as a country has come up with various legislations to make sure that there are institutions tasked with the responsibility of assessing and monitoring environmental changes that are likely to have harmful effects currently and in the future the most recent one being the plastic ban effected on the 28th of August 2017.
A number of these laws exist as will be discussed here but the major ones are the public health act and the environmental management and co-ordination act, 1999 (act no 8 of 1999) which had been amended in 2015.
Environmental management and co-ordination act (EMCA), 1999 (act no 8 of 1999)
Assented in 1999 and effected in 2000 through an ACT of Parliament to provide for the establishment of an appropriate legal and institutional framework for the management of the environment and for the matters connected therewith and incidental thereto is the framework law on environmental management and conservation and was established as the principal instrument of government charged with the implementation of all policies relating to the environment, and to exercise general supervision and coordination over all matters relating to the environment.
Provides for environmental protection through environmental impact assessment, environmental audit and monitoring, environmental restoration orders, conservation orders, and easements. It establishes among others the following institutions;
• National Environment Management Authority- In consultation with the lead agencies, NEMA is empowered to develop regulations, prescribe measures and standards and, issue guidelines for the management and conservation of natural resources and the environment.
NEMA is also the Designated National Authority for certain Multilateral Environmental Agreements.
• Public Complaints Committee,
• National Environment Tribunal – provides the administrative mechanism for addressing environmental harm
• National Environment Action Plan Committees – responsible for policy formulation directions for the purposes of the Act. The committee also sets national goals and objectives, and determines policies and priorities for the protection of the environment
• County Environment Committees – Contribute to decentralization of environmental management and enable participation of local communities
Section 58 of EMCA requires an environmental impact assessment license with the following regulations;
• Noise regulations, 2009 – prohibit a production of any loud, unreasonable, unnecessary or unusual noise which annoys, disturbs, injures or endangers the comfort, repose, health or safety of others and the environment.
• Wetland regulations, 2009 specific sections have requirements that apply to wetlands in Kenya either in private or public land.
• water quality regulations this includes the following:
o protection of sources of water for domestic use;
o water for industrial use and effluent discharge;
o Water for agricultural use. these regulations outline:
o quality standards for sources of domestic water;
o quality monitoring for sources of domestic water;
o standards for effluent discharge into the environment;
o monitoring guide for discharge into the environment;
o Standards for effluent discharge into public sewers. License to discharge to the environment.
• Waste management regulations – apply to all categories of waste. these include:
o industrial wastes;
o Hazardous and toxic wastes;
o Pesticides and toxic substances;
o Biomedical wastes;
o Radio-active substances. These regulations outline requirements for handling, storing, transporting, and treatment/ disposal of all waste categories. Disposal of waste by NEMA licensed company
• Controlled substances these are basically ozone depleting gases one needs a license to produce controlled substances, import controlled substances, and transport controlled substances through Kenya and also export controlled substances.
Public health act chapter 242
The act was commenced on 6th September 1921 after it was developed through an act of parliament to make provision for securing and maintaining health. It was later revised in 2012 and is arranged in parts from IX to XV as mentioned below each part has got its own discussion in relation to public health aspect it deals with as captured in the document.
III. Notification of infectious diseases
IV. Prevention and suppression of infectious diseases
V. Venereal diseases
VI. Ports and inland borders of Kenya
VIII. Prevention of the spread of smallpox
IX. Sanitation and housing
X. Protection of foodstuffs
XI. Public water supplies, meat, milk and other articles of food
XII. Prevention and destruction of mosquitoes
XV. Miscellaneous provisions
Even though these legislations are comprehensively addressing the public health concerns within the nation and providing much benefit to the improvement of environmental health when not properly implemented have shown to have repercussions as witnessed in the recent riparian land demolitions in the county exposing some oversights in the same institutions entrusted with these responsibilities going by the.
1. Public health act chapter 242 revised edition 2012 1986 available: www.kenyalaw.org
2. Constitution of Kenya 2010 available: www.kenyalaw.org
3. Environmental governance in Kenya
4. Environmental management and co-ordination act, 1999 (act no 8 of 1999)
5. The making of a framework environmental law in Kenya ,UNEP
6. Mining act cap 306
7. Penal code
8. Physical planning act cap 242
9. Radiation protection act cap 243
10. Maritime zone act cap 371