President Uhuru Kenyatta on Wednesday signed into law six parliamentary bills including the Sustainable Water Management Bill, Irrigation (Amendment) and the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal (Amendment) Bill as well as Sacco Societies (Amendment) Bill, Children Bill and Community Groups Registration Bill, all of 2021.
The new Sustainable Waste Management Act establishes a robust legal and institutional framework for sustainable management of waste to ensure the realisation of the constitutional requirement on the right to a clean and healthy environment.
It provides mechanisms for policy, coordination and oversight of waste management, and promotion of a circular economy for green growth by, among other provisions, establishing the Waste Management Council whose mandate includes overseeing the implementation of the national sustainable waste management strategy.
On its part, the Community Groups Registration Act establishes a framework for the registration and regulation of community groups on matters such as the amalgamation and merger of such groups.
The amended Children Act gives effect to Article 53 of the Constitution of Kenya by among other reforms, advancing the concept of ‘best interest of the child’ as the paramount consideration in every matter or decision concerning a child.
Further, the new Children Act provides for parental responsibility and contains progressive provisions on the protection and care of children such as prioritization of family-based care through fostering, adoption, custody, maintenance, guardianship, kinship care, kafaalah among others.
The law therefore largely shifts the burden of child care to the state and the community, leaving room for the establishment of statutory childcare institutions by the Cabinet Secretary responsible for children’s affairs.