A section of polluted water along River Migori

As Kenya hosts the African Climate Summit (ACW), 2023, that calls on the leaders to pledge a commitment framework to reduce the greenhouse effects, Migori residents have been urged to follow suit by observing waste disposal measures.

Speaking on this, Tom Togo, Migori County Director of the National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) has criticized the residents of aimless disposal of domestic waste products leading to pollution.

Mr Tom Togo, Migori County director, NEMA.

According to Togo, irresponsible solid waste disposal forms the highest source of pollution followed by effluents from the farms and industries, which most of the time, end up to the rivers.

“People seem not to be aware of the hazards of the improper solid waste disposal. Our analysis shows that the solid waste is the highest source of environmental degradation,” he said.

The Director also noted that most of these solid wastes are untreated, posing life threats to human beings when the wastes find ways into the water bodies whose waters are used domestically.

“Untreated solid wastes further pose health complications to human beings especially when they are swept into rivers by rain water. It is unfortunate that quite a number of us still depend on river as water sources,” he added.

According to Togo, river water pollution is rampant in urban areas especially big towns where there are more residents without proper sewerage system, a challenge that needs a quick intervention.

He pointed out River Migori, which runs at the center of Migori town, dividing into busy sections both industrially and agriculturally.

Poorly disposed domestic waste on the waters of River Migori. Photo by Ologi Peter; KTMN

“Water pollution especially in River Migori is mostly caused by both industrial and agricultural activities of the residents around, some of the farm chemicals being carried into the river by flood,” he echoed.

Mr Togo cautioned the residents to be careful of the environmental impacts following the rampant pollution, calling them to make environmental conservation a collective responsibility.

Through this, he said that the residents will no longer blame the government for their misdeeds apart from offloading the burden for the concerned authority on environmental conservation.

The director also put the producers on notice urging them to fully adhere to the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) measures.

EPR is an environmental conservation measure which holds the producers responsible for a product’s environmental impact up to its last life cycle.

With EPR in place, Togo said that the producers will have no option but to maximize on minimizing on the environmental hazards of their products.

This policy will make it possible for the products to be called back to their producers from the end users in case it breaches the policy’s terms.

“EPR has been long overdue and it comes at a critical time when we need it most. It is a policy that is god-sent, to cover the consumers by holding the producers responsible to the last life cycles of their products,” he narrated.

He, however, decried lack of funding that has made both National and County governments to implement the environmental conservation policies.

He called on the national government to fast track the Climate Change Fund in order to help the authorities implement the climate change actions.

“The government needs to be fast in fast tracking the Climate Change Fund as it will be key in enhancing and implementing appropriate climate actions” said the director.

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