Obstacles to Compliance With Regulatory Obligations Relating to the Recycling of Used Lead-acid Batteries in Kenya
Meso, Allan O
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Despite the enactment of an elaborate framework to regulate the handling of used lead-acid batteries in Kenya, the country has witnessed numerous cases of lead poisoning and pollution stemming from the handling of these batteries leading to serious health complications, loss of lives and property and, significant degradation of the environment. This study sought to examine why handlers of used lead-acid batteries in Kenya are unable to prevent and mitigate cases of lead pollution and poisoning arising from the collection, transportation, disposal and recycling of used lead-acid battery despite the existence of a robust regulatory framework. Specifically, the study sought to identify the obstacles that hinder compliance with regulatory obligations relating to the handling of used lead-acid batteries. The study was conducted under the rationalist compliance theory which provides a basis for firms’ compliance with laws and is a valuable optic for observing and comprehending behavior that drives compliance as well as reasons for those behaviors. The study was conducted using a mix of qualitative and quantitative methods. The quantitative aspects of the study were based on a survey of 5 scrap metal dealers and 22 motor vehicle owners in Viwandani ward in Makadara sub-county of Nairobi City within the Republic of Kenya. The qualitative aspect was based on in-depth interviews with key informants from the National Environment Management Authority in Kenya and with key informants from the Associated Battery Manufacturers Limited, the only licensed enterprise by the National Environment Management Authority to recycle used lead acid batteries. A content analysis of the legal framework governing the recyling of used lead-acid batteries was also conducted to identify any gaps in the framework. The data collected was edited, coded, classified and tabulated in an excel sheet in preparation for analysis. The analysis was then presented in the form of pie-charts. The results revealed that awareness of the regulatory obligations and technological constraints constitute the greatest obstacles to the compliance with regulatory obligations relating to the handling of used lead-acid batteries. Inadequate enforcement also seems to play some role in noncompliance. In addition, the regulatory framework governing the handling of used lead-acid batteries, does not extend the responsibility of manufacturers of used lead-acid batteries to collect and recycle the batteries. Further, the framework does not contain any provision that would encourage or motivate consumers of lead-acid batteries to collect and return the batteries to the manufacturer or a recycler. The national environment management authority pursuant to its mandate under section 9(2)(m) of the Environmental Management and Coordination Act, 1999 may wish to consider developing and rolling-out a programme to sensitize handlers of used leadacid batteries such as scrap metal dealers, owners of motor vehicles and recyclers of used leadacid batteries about the hazards of these batteries as well as environmentally sound ways of collecting, transporting, disposing and recycling of the ULABs. Secondly, since environmental regulatory programs typically require significant capital expenditures for technologically complex..............
University of Nairobi
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