NAIROBI, Oct. 14 (Xinhua) -- Kenya will prioritize environmental conservation in its industrialization agenda as part of efforts to support sustainable development, a government official said on Wednesday.
Francis Owino, principal secretary, State Department for Industrialization said in Nairobi that climate change is one of the greatest threats faced by the country and has the potential to negate socio-economic gains made by the government.
"Even as we push for industrialization, we will adopt environmental standards to safeguard the quality of air, water and soil," Owino said during celebrations to mark the World Standards Day.
He noted that the government is aware of the role of standards in supporting the reduction of the environmental impact of industrial production and processes by promoting a circular economy.
Owino observed that a multi-sectoral team is currently reviewing the country's legal and policy framework to update the laws that will promote the environmental soundness of the manufacturing sector.
He revealed that one of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic was the catalyzation of local production of health-related products as imports were blocked through global restrictions to curb the spread of the pandemic.
Bernard Njiraini, managing director, Kenya Bureau of Standards said that the east African nation has developed more than 1,000 environmental standards to help in the adaptation and mitigation of climate change.
Njiraini added that standards are effective tools to ensure human activities are regulated so as to preserve nature from degradation due to pollutants.
Mamo Boru Mamo, director general, National Environment and Management Authority noted that air pollution dropped significantly due to the partial shutdown of the economy that was aimed to curb the spread of COVID-19.
"The challenge now is to ensure that the temporary gains in reduction of dangerous emissions are entrenched into the economy going forward," he added. Enditem