Nema warns travellers against throwing litter on highways

Tuesday September 12 2017

A section of the Nakuru-Nairobi highway. Nema has warned travellers, especially those on long-distance journeys, against littering highways. PHOTO | SULEIMAN MBATIAH | NATION MEDIA GROUP

A section of the Nakuru-Nairobi highway. Nema has warned travellers, especially those on long-distance journeys, against littering highways. PHOTO | SULEIMAN MBATIAH | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By MAGDALENE WANJA
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By PETER MBURU
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The National Environment Management Authority (Nema) has warned travellers, especially those on long-distance journeys, against littering highways.

The Nema board says the authority will be monitoring and conducting a baseline clean-up along the highways in collaboration with stakeholders, including the National Youth Service.

The authority said the campaign aims at bringing sanity in the transport sector, which is the main contributor to environmental pollution.

“We are collaborating with various ministries who are very supportive and our choice to start with the highways is because this is an area where there is a gap in jurisdiction between counties,” said Nema Director General Geoffrey Wahungu.

He was speaking to journalists in Nakuru Town.

LITTER BINS

He noted that in the next one week, the Authority together with the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) will engage in the clean-up that will also see introduction of bins to all the public transport and designated stoppage point.

He noted that the initiative is already effective in towns such as Rongai town, where they are closely monitoring the impact of the implementation.

Nema also warned that after the ban on plastic carrier bags is fully implemented, the same will be extended to plastic bottles.

“We are all aware that 100 million plastic bags are handed out by supermarkets alone and end up clogging drainage leading to flooding in major cities. More than 50 percent of cattle in urban areas have plastic bags in their rumen,” he noted.

TRAVELLERS WARNED

In February, Nakuru County government warned travellers using the Nairobi-Eldoret highway against throwing litter on the road, especially sections of the highway that are within Nakuru County.

About 160 kilometres of the national highway passes through Nakuru County, making it prone to careless disposal of waste.

Prof Wahungu also decried the habit of some people said making calls of nature in open saying this increases the risk of people contracting diseases such as cholera besides creating a dirty and unsafe environment.

“We have had several meetings with NTSA [in a bid to have] the authority establish places along highways where passengers will relieve themselves instead of the current habit,” Prof Wahungu said.