NAIROBI, Oct. 30 (Xinhua) -- Kenya's ministry of environment is developing a raft of policy and legislative incentives to revitalize action on the growing pollution menace in the rural counties, officials said on Monday.
Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Natural Resources Judi Wakhungu said new strategies are required to help county governments deal with ecological challenges like pollution, habitat loss and land degradation.
"We have developed new policy and legal tools to help county governments address environmental pollution that has worsened against a backdrop of industrialization, mechanized farming and population growth," Wakhungu said.
She spoke in Nairobi during a roundtable meeting for County First Ladies organized by the UN Environment (UNEP) to discuss pollution ahead of the United Nations Environment Assembly to be held from Dec. 4 to 6.
Dozens of County First Ladies, policymakers and grassroots campaigners attended the roundtable that shed light on innovations that can be harnessed to promote waste management in rural towns and villages.
Wakhungu said the central government is encouraging counties to adopt cleaner technologies and implement a raft of guidelines aimed at reducing air and water pollution.
"The government is concerned by waste management challenges in the counties and has encouraged them to invest in waste recycling that has potential to create jobs and reduce water-borne diseases," said Wakhungu.
She noted that implementation of plastic ban and an electronic waste management strategy has strengthened ongoing efforts to reduce pollution in the counties.
Kenyan counties should adopt local innovations that would advance green growth in the light of ecological challenges linked to climate change, population pressure and industrialization.
Executive Director of the UN Environment Erik Solheim said waste management coupled with sound utilization of natural resources is key to promoting wealth creation in rural counties.
"Kenyan counties can invest in environmentally-friendly technologies to curb pollution," Solheim said, adding that sound policies combined with public awareness are key to improving environmental health in rural counties.