Wednesday, January 17, 2018

22/Nov/2016

Director, Multilateral Environmental Agreements, Mr. Richard Mwendandu opening the Mercury workshop at the Pan Afric hotel, Nairobi.

Director, Multilateral Environmental Agreements, Mr. Richard Mwendandu opening the Mercury workshop at the Pan Afric hotel, Nairobi.

Plans are at an advanced stage between Kenya and Japan to construct a state of the art incinerator for Nairobi County and its environs to manage harmful chemical substances in line with the Minamata Convention on mercury management. The construction will start in August, 2017 on a seven acre piece of land located near the eastern by pass.

The Minamata Convention is the first major global environmental treaty in over a decade and requires best available control technology for coal fired power plants. It also roots for the banning of mercury containing commercial products in the next 15 years.

Addressing participants of a joint Kenya –Japan Technical Workshop on Mercury Management in Nairobi on behalf of the Principal Secretary for Environment, Julius Sunkuli, Director, Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) Mr. Richard Mwendandu, observed that Kenya is a signatory to the Minamata Convention on mercury and is making effort to have it ratified by latest May, 2017. 128 countries have already signed the convention and ratification by 50 countries is required for it to be effected. Nine countries including the US have already ratified.

Mr. Mwendandu noted that Kenya is already implementing Minamata Mercury activities to protect human health and environment by reducing mercury releases through contaminated water, air and food. It is evident that medical waste contains mercury and there are emissions and releases of mercury into the environment. However, there is no data available on quantities and source of materials of mercury in the country.

Kenya’s solid waste is contaminated extensively by dumping of batteries, switches, cosmetics, soaps and cream, pesticides, biocides, antiseptics, non electronic measuring devices like barometers, hydrometers, manometers, thermometers and lamps.  Plans are in place to ban or phase out these products.

Japan shared knowledge and experiences on how they handled mercury management and will partner with Kenya to develop action plans to manage mercury and achieve objectives of the Convention.

participants-at-the-mercury-workshop-in-a-group-photograph-after-the-official-opening

participants-at-the-mercury-workshop-in-a-group-photograph-after-the-official-opening

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