Kajiado County Assembly Speaker Johnson Osoi has challenged environmental lobby groups in the country to work with county assemblies to create environmental laws that can positively impact on the lives of Kenyans.
Speaker Osoi, who is also the chairman of County Assemblies Forum, said engaging counties on environmental matters will go a long way in promoting environmental issues at the grassroots level.
He said over the years, countries have shifted from mere encouragement to law agreements meant to purposely mitigate adverse effects of environmental pollution.
“I call on civil societies to propose policies, Bills and provide relevant information to county assemblies and importantly meet and engage relevant committees in order to form part of the best environment laws in our counties,” said Mr Osoi.
Mr Osoi said the Kajiado County Assembly will soon enact a law on waste management.
He added that the assembly also has plans to promote a robust tree planting drive in all the wards in the county, saying that they have already put in place measures to engage 25 ward staff in a social responsibility programme that will see the assembly help plant 10,000 trees in every ward.
“As lawmakers in the counties we have enormous tasks to enact laws that will help this nation manage the solid wastes as well as other forms of pollution. In order to be part of the global environmental concern, we must go beyond our mandate to improve our environmental ambience,” he said.
He was speaking during the regional environmental conference which closed on Saturday at the Multimedia University where he was chief guest.
The conference aimed at kick-starting an environmental advocacy pilot project in Kajiado County.
It brought together 500 participants from Kenya, Uganda, Burundi, Congo, South Sudan and Tanzania and was organised by the Augustinian Community Foundation.
Mr Vincent Osubiro, the president of the organisation of environmental lobbies in Africa, called for the culture of championing of environmental matters to be instilled by all, staring with leaders, arguing that the environment must be the role of all for the betterment of lives.
“We are confident that by engaging communities, leaders and especially lawmakers in Africa, our homes and working places will be safer,” said Mr Osubiro.
Prof Bob White of Tangaza University, who gave a speech on the current state of waste management in Kenya, said that there is need for social transformation to overcome the real threats on the environment.
“Our role is to create environmental awareness and since environment is everything, we must work together,” said Prof White.