Nairobi dwellers risk a Ksh10,000 fine or six months in jail for spitting on a footpath, defecating, or urinating on a street or open space in a proposed law that seeks to curtail public nuisance.
The Nairobi City County Public Nuisance Bill 2020, tabled in the Nairobi County Assembly by Riruta Ward Representative James Kiriba, has since gone past the first reading.
If passed, the Bill will replace the outdated Nairobi City Council by-laws.
Other offences that will attract the fine include blowing your nose anywhere other than into a suitable cloth or tissue, riding a motorcycle or driving on a footpath as well as lighting fires on a road or street without authority of the county secretary.
Additional punishable offences considered to be a public nuisance are prostitution, leaving a dog one is in charge of to defecate a road or street, washing, repairing or dismantling a vehicle except in the case of an emergency in the city centre, smoking in public places and touting for passengers.
The Bill also outlaws hawking, selling, distributing or advertising an article or event on a public road or street, shouting or using a bell, gong, loudspeaker or other noisy instrument or driving a vehicle for the purpose of exhibiting advertisements without statutory authority.
Keeping an animal, including poultry, that becomes a nuisance in the neighbourhood will also attract punishment.
According to the Bill, public nuisance is an act or omission that causes common injury, damage or annoyance to the public or to the people who dwell or occupy property in the vicinity of the act.
Any person who commits an offence under the Public Nuisance section is liable, upon conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or a fine of not more than Sh10,000 or both.
A fine of Ksh50,000, a six-month sentence or both will also be imposed on anyone found residing or sleeping in a kitchen or room in which food is prepared or stored for sale.
Having a hedge, tree or other growth placed or in such conditions as to be a danger to a person or vehicle using a street will be considered an offence.