Nation: The National Environment Management Authority (Nema) has said there is still a challenge in the eradication of plastic bags mainly in the border towns, five months after the ban took effect in Kenya.

This is as most of the countries in the region are still manufacturing the plastic bags making it easy for people to access from across the borders.

Nema’s Chief Enforcement Officer Robert Orina said the plastic bags are still finding their way into major towns, a business still going on among a few traders.

“We have information that some business operators are still getting the commodity in bulk from the neighbouring countries, mainly Uganda, despite the ban that took effect in August 2017,” said Mr Orina.


He noted that the main target of the illegal business are small scale traders who sell goods like vegetables and snacks in small portions.

“The small bags are in circulation…and are usually in display during odd hours,” he added.

Mr Orina was speaking in Nakuru where he led a team of national and county Nema officials in an operation to raid the illegal plastic bags businesses in the town.

This was after a tip-off on operators importing the plastic bags in bulk from Uganda and later distributing them to various traders in the area.

However, the officials did not manage to arrest any culprit in connection to the matter.

“We have information that the plastic bags are still in circulation and that the operators of the businesses are using motorbikes to circulate the product. We shall keep vigilance and ensure that the illegal business comes to an end,” said Mr Orina.


Nakuru County Director of Environment Natural Resources and Energy Mureithi Kiogora said his office is working closely with Nema to ensure they achieve the objective.

“Apart from the small scale traders who are still packing their products in the plastic bags, the level of compliance in Nakuru is encouraging,” said Mr Kiogora.

The authority’s county director of environment, Mr Omondi Were, said more than 10 people had been charged in court since the ban took effect.

He said majority of those charged are those selling snacks along the Nakuru-Eldoret highway.

“Our focus is now on the distribution point which is the core challenge,” said Mr Were.

The year 2017 has been quite eventful not only for Kenya but also Kara. The prolonged political climate impacted on a number of plans we had for the year. Nonetheless, with your unwavering support we were still able to record a number of milestones aimed at enhancing access to quality service delivery. Thank you for your partnership, friendship and support.  

The State Department for Housing and Urban Development appreciates the role of KARA over the years in facilitating conversations on issues touching on the built environment. The theme of the KARA Business Expo and Conference: Enhancing quality of urban life in Kenya through Resident Associations is indeed appropriate as it comes at a time when the Government is facilitating the provision of one million affordable housing units by 2022.

I am delighted to be Chief Guest for the KARA Annual Resident Associations Excellence Awards 2017. This event comes at a very prime moment when Kenya is hosting the United Nations Environment Assembly with the theme “Towards a Pollution Free Planet”. I am aware some of the engagements by the Resident Associations contribute to this theme. 

The Kenya Alliance of Resident Associations (KARA) hosted the first ever Annual Resident Associations Excellence Awards (AREA) Ceremony on 2nd December 2017 at Sarit Centre. The ceremony, which was part of the 2nd KARA Business Expo and Conference event, was presided over by Prof. Judi Wakhungu, the Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Natural Resources. AREA is designed to reward Resident Associations that have demonstrated exemplary performance in promoting sustainable development and access to better public services in Kenya.

The government through the State Department of Housing and Urban Development has established a secretariat to drive implementation of New Urban Agenda (NUA) in Kenya.

Kara in collaboration with Nairobi City County Government (NCCG) and United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) developed Non Motorized Transport (NMT) Policy for Nairobi County.

Principal Secretary, State Department of Devolution, Mr. Micah Pkopus Powon 

Participants at the Kara Bimonthly Talk Series forum held on 17th October 2017 challenged the government to set aside funds that will facilitate effective public participation in Kenya.

Nakuru and Eldoret towns are set to become cities if a bill approved by cabinet is passed.

Kara signed the Urban Boards Non State Nominating Agencies (UBNSNA) cooperation agreement during a breakfast meeting convened to provide updates on the progress made by UBNSNA.

Preparations for the 2nd KARA Business Expo & Conference event to be held on December 1 – 3, 2017 at the Sarit Centre, Nairobi are in top gear.

The rapid spread of cell phones across the globe creates new opportunities to engage citizens to improve public transport in our cities.

The 2nd Kara Business Expo & Conference event is slated for Friday, 1st December to Sunday, 3rd December at the Sarit Centre.

The much publicized ban on plastic bags took effect on 28th August 2017. On 28th February 2017.

The government has lifted the extension and renewal of land leases. The process was halted in December 2016 to allow the formulation of guidelines that would guide the process.

The Association for Research on Civil Society in Africa (AROCSA) held its annual conference on 27th to 29th July 2017 in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Kara was accredited by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) as an observer in the just ended general elections.

In the run up to the just concluder General Elections, Kara held a series of gubernatorial candidates debates to provide a platform for county residents to engage the candidates on service delivery agenda.

Suleiman Shahbal has declined Hassan Omar's offer to serve as his county executive committee member should the Senator become Mombasa governor.


Kara in partnership with the Civil Society Urban Development Platform (CSUDP) has convened a consultative meeting geared towards broadening participation in the Urban Boards formation process.