Two people have been arrested by the police for commencing a construction project without Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) licences in Nairobi.
The arrest is part of a new nationwide crackdown by the police in an effort to rein in both businessmen and ordinary Kenyans accused of flagrantly breaking the law.
A statement by the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) on Monday indicated that the crackdown targets individuals using banned polythene bags and littering at undesignated points.
The other areas of focus are open burning of waste, construction at night, noise pollution and illegal discharge into the environment.
"The National Police Service (NPS) have started enforcing the NEMA environmental regulations," read the statement in part.
"This is after a capacity building exercise by NEMA that saw senior police officers in Nairobi County sensitised on the enforcement of environmental laws."
Since plastic bags were banned by the Kenyan Government in 2017, NEMA routinely conducts crackdown mostly within downtown shops to curb their use.
In most cycles, the authority often arrests retailers who, according to the law, face a fine a fine of up to Ksh4 million or four years in jail.
As recent as May 2023, the authority nabbed 23 individuals who were found selling around 35,000 pieces of the banned plastic bags. The individuals were all arrested within Nairobi County.
According to the Kenyan Constitution, individuals found littering or disposing off waste in non-designates places also risk a fine of Ksh200,000 or spend one year behind bars.
The law, which was introduced in 2019, aimed at ensuring responsible disposal of waste and cleaning up of the environment which is choking from random dumping locations.
On the other hand, individuals who break the noise pollution law risks a fine of Ksh500,000 or serving a jail term of up to 24 months.
The noise could emanate from excessive vibration from a construction site or loud music played in a residential setup.
The Constitution indicates that limits range from 50 decibels (dB) in residential areas to 70 dB in industrial areas during the daytime, and 45 dB to 60 dB respectively at night.
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