RESPONSIBLE CHEMICAL MANAGEMENT TO GROW KENYA’S ECONOMY
The Government will partner with the Private Sector in the sound management of chemicals and chemical waste produced in the country, Principal Secretary for Environment Mr. Charles Sunkuli has said.
Addressing a chemicals stakeholders’ forum in Nairobi the PS noted that Chemicals played a critical part in development of a Nation and their safe handling was imperative to reduce environmental hazards.
Mr. Sunkuli noted that exposure to chemicals such as lead caused many human deaths and birth defects in the world and called for sound management of the substances.
He said manufacturers should adopt sound chemicals management and substitute harmful chemicals with safer alternatives adding that such a shift production would not negatively impact their businesses and profits.
Mr. Sunkuli noted that the private sector would address chemical risks better if they recognized that sustainable management would boost their business both locally and abroad.
The joint networking forum on sound chemicals management brought together the Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM), Agrochemical Association of Kenya, Responsible Care Global (RCG), Kenya Chemists Society, International Council of Chemical Associations and the Ministry of Environment and Forestry.
The forum aimed at creating a common understanding between the various players in the industry and the government on the best way to manage industrial chemicals and the management of Unintentionally Produced Persistent Organic Pollutants (UPOPs).
The PS noted that manufacturing was one of the big 4 pillars informing the government’s priorities which would lead to faster growth of chemicals production that would rise at a higher rate than previously that projected.
Mr. Sunkuli expressed concern over the high disease burden in Kenya and Africa due to environmental hazards connected with industrial chemicals. He warned of carcinogenic chemicals which were responsible for many cancer cases and deaths in the country.
However, he noted that chemicals were an indispensable part of our economy adding that chemicals form 7% of the Kenyan manufacturing industry. Factoring other chemical related industries like plastics, textiles, leather and waste among others, the proportion rises significantly he added.
While lauding the manufacturing fraternity for the will and zeal they have shown towards sound chemicals management, he promised that the government would cooperate with the private sector to develop a roadmap for sustainable chemical use.
He advised the Kenya Association of Manufacturers and the Agrochemical Association of Kenya to collaborate on the project to streamline and mainstream the effective management of chemicals and waste in the country.
The Kenya Association of Manufacturers, having already adopted the Responsible Care Global Charter, promised to work with its members to ensure that they adhered to proper management of chemicals and waste from their manufacturing operations. Responsible Care is the unifying commitment of the global chemical industry to safely manage chemicals throughout their life cycle.
The partnership will herald a new future in the management of chemicals and waste in the country and will generate economic opportunity as manufacturers devise better ways of managing.
Powered by WPeMatico