Awareness of environmental law: A case study of Nairobi residents living around the Dandora dumping site
Kahindi, Katsoleh G. C.
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The purpose of this study was to determine the level of awareness of environmental law, of residents living near the Dandora Municipal dumping site and had the following four objectives: • To determine their level of awareness of The Environmental Management and Co-ordination Act laws governing hazardous waste disposal. • To establish the extent of the residents understanding of their right to sue, as provided for under the law. • To find out the level of awareness of the residents regarding various statutes governing Environmental protection. • To investigate whether increased awareness of environmental laws would motivate the urge to pursue legal redress. The literature review covered issues dealing with self efficacy beliefs as proposed in the theoretical framework. It then covers on the issue of who has the right to sue and the procedure of enforcement of the law and rights. Then follows a walk through the development of environmental legislation in Kenya. A description of the dumping site was provided. The study was an exploratory survey and purposive sampling method was employed while data analysis was executed using SPSS software of which descriptive statistics were generated. The findings of the study indicated that among the laws governing hazardous wastes, the Public Health Act was the most well known. Regarding their right to sue, the residents recorded a high level of awareness of their entitlement to report any dumping activity to the police, institute private and public proceedings and to block any dumping activity from going on. Most respondents agreed, increased knowledge of environmental laws would motivate them to seek legal redress. The main conclusions of the study were that the incidence of a high awareness of the PHA can be explained in the light of diseases in Africa. Given the long-term endemic nature of malaria in Kenya and Africa. The Factories Act having a high incidence of recognition can be attributed to the fact that the respondents are generally a source of cheap labour to the surrounding industries and Industrial Area in particular. The study recommended that given the past attempts by the residents to obstruct dumping at the Dandora Municipal dumping site, the Government should enforce their attempts through upholding the law. The Judiciary can also facilitate increased environmental law awareness. Finally, further research could be done aimed at assessing the resident's awareness of the impact of the dumping site on their health and surroundings. These studies could also factor in other legal frameworks that empower the residents to seek compensation for any injuries or ill-health suffered.