The quagmire of the law on control of harzardous wastes, substances and chemicals the Kenyan example
Nyaberi, Justry P Lumumba
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Harzardous wastes substances and chemicals me those materials that cause actual harm t o health or cause damage to the cuviroumcut While substances or chemicals could he required lor i ndust rial or agricu It ura I product ion. bu i Id i IIg i udust ry. encrgy gcncra t ion 01 and other materials used for economic or commercial activities. most hazardous wastes arc by products ola hrond spccrruu: ofindusu inl .uu l numufucturing proccss Prj uuu il v high volume generators ofhazardous waste include the chemical, petroleum, metals. wood treatment paper. leather. textile and transportation industries. secondary sources include; auto and equipment repair shops, electro plates, construction firms, Laundromats. dry clcaucrs or pesticide applicator s. It is also true that production ofxurh wastes goes hand in hand with population growth and technological developments of a country. These wastes then present serious risks not only to human beings but also to the environment. It is 011 hi s backurouml that in the pasl t \VO decades there ha vc been gll'a t concern in the international level for waste control This has led to the developing and adoption of intcrnat innnl conventions such as the Basel Convcntiou. Bamako Cunvcnt iou and the London Gil idel i ncs II is I h is COIICl'1lI !'or the cout rul of hazardous wast cs substances and chemicals that has prompted me to write this thesis. , Kenya aims al indusuialization in the next century. It is therefore prudent to predict t 11:1 I the generation of' wastes substances and chemicals wil! increase with the intended level of industrialization .' Such wastes arc a threat to human health, Thus this problem of wastes is real and can be predicted. Chapter one of this thesis seeks to investigate such prohlcm Besides, Kenya's approach 10 cnvironmcntai couscrv.u iou and hazardous wasil' Clllllmi is sectoral in nature. There exists various statutes that govern areas such as water. wildlife ant! fish. With the rapid increase in the volume or waste production, it is import.m: 1'01 the Kenya Government 10 intervene by plluillg in plncc a legislatioll 10 rcgul.n c production and disposal or waste. The proposal or this thesis seeks 10 investigatc as to whether there arc comprehensive statutory provisions governing waste disposal As il will emerge, 1I01le, olthc existing legislatiolls exisling presently is such C(lIIlPICilcIISivl' ant! therefore, this thesis rcconuucnds that pnrliurucn: should pass a specific Icgislatioll for the management of hazardous substances In thc proposal, similarly, the suucrucnt or the pi oblcm, the objectives or the studv. significance and justification orthe study, the thcorctica] framcwork , the litcr.uurc review, the working hypothcxis ami the research uu-thudology arc also discussed The proposal is our chapter one of this thesis. The next chapter gives :111 overview of hazardous waste, substance and chemicals. their sources, classification and their effects on the environment. l lerein we discuss the clfccts of hazardous wastes 011 human health and the environment. Hazardous substances arc defined, their sources identified and their harm to luuuan health and the cnvironmcut is ﾕ exposed. This section outlines some suggested disposal methods which hinge Oil a comprehensive policy 0(' waste ill the country. Such a policy, it emerges, aims al holis: ic handling of wastes, emphasis protection. life cycle analysis and evaluation of life-long Environmental protection as well as proper disposal systems. Co-operation between . Islatcs as well as organs within states ;IIC also highly recommended ill this p:111 Ilrlhe study in thc process ofhandling and disposal of wastes This chapter two lavs a framework in which the succeeding chapter is presented Chapter three ofthis thesis reviews the existing Kenya Laws regulating hazardous waste substances and chemicals It comprchcusivcly reviews the national laws having a hearing on hazardous waste, chemicals and substances. II emerges very clearly that kCllya h:IS no umbrella law on the environment and II100C specifically on hazardous waste control. However, there arc several statutes touching on hazardous waste, but Oil statute bv statute analysis, various loopholes, inconsistencies. flaws and lack or harmony arc ascertainable II is further argued that Ihc cx istiuu laws sci concculrution limits which arc not relevant to today's knowledge and tcchllologics \Vitll the Ilct' movement of various prodllcls aCltlSS borders, and the emphasis on nal ional as wcl l (IS rcgional iudustriniizal iou. without articulated and adequate measures to curb waste is a sure way or inviting uncontrolled environmental pollution In this chapter we strollgly rccommcud that Kenya should formulate and implcnu-nt a cornprchcnsivc legislation on waste whose objective will bc to reduce problems connected with waste disposal Our chapter four discusses the intcmatioual instruments on hazardous waste control nud \ protocols on the same It reviews the intcrnat ioun] instruments and conventions reglilating hazardous \\;lstCS and rccouuncuds tltat kenya should study those l'llll\clltiollS witha view oftakillg tile ucccssarv measures to domesticate them. These conventions Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania) should cuter into a regional agreement aimed at creating include the Basel Convention (1989) and the Bamako Convcntion(19lJl) as well as other important Conventions. It is also recommended that the three East African Countries a. concrete effort to deal with hazardous waste and substances. This section explores the relcvance or iutcruational conventions in the control or hazardous wastes by l'.stahlisliing pecific standards in hazardous waste substances and chemicals management. This thesis in chapter live looks at the Kenyan general principle 011 hazardous waste management. It outlines some very important policy guidelines on waste generally. taking in to accountthc argument in chapter three and four above and gives municipal Itasks in controlling hazardous waste through recycled waste and lax imposition and cash ! deposits. The roles, duties and accompanying obligation of the local people and various institutions arc examined. The section 'examincs the existence or otherwise in Kenya or any guiding ethics as regards hazardous waste control and control of environmcntal pollution and the role of local communities in that regard. The last part of this thesis gives the conclusion and recommendations based on the content of the whole thesis. It also outlines the contents ora proposed legislation The provisions of the proposed legislation are to the thesis and marked annex I.
University of Nairobi, Kenya