By Bernard Maranga, NECJOGHA
Nairobi, Kenya – Three Kenyan organisations have petitioned the country’s Parliament over what he said was an increase in the prevalence of chemical pesticides in the country, which poses a risk to human health and harmful effects to the environment.
“There are products on the Kenyan market, which are certainly classified as carcinogenic (24 products), mutagenic (24 products), endocrine disrupter (35 products), neurotoxin (140 products) and many which show clear effects on reproduction toxicity (262 products) many of which have been banned in Europe, United Kingdom and US,” a petition signed by Gladys Boss Shellie member of Parliament for Uasin Gish County reads in part.
The MP said she was writing on behalf of representatives of Biodiversity and Biosafety Association of Kenya (BIBA-K), Kenya Organic Agriculture Network (KOAM), Resources oriented Development Initiatives (RODI Kenya) and Route to Food Imitative (RTFI).
This petition headlined ‘ Public petition regarding withdrawal of harmful chemical pesticides from Kenya’s market’ says that the volume of imported insecticides, herbicides and fungicides has more than doubled within four years from 6,400 tons in 2015 to 15,600 tons in 2018 which is a growth rate of 144%.
“This is worrying because the increase in pesticide use has not been accompanied by the necessary safe guards to control how they are applied,” the petition reads.
The petitioners wants the National Assembly among other things to recommend for an immediate ban of all products on the Kenyan market, classified as carcinogenic, mutagenic, endoctrine disrupters neurotoxic and many which show clear effects on reproduction toxicity.
The petitioners also prayed that the National Assembly causes government to withdraw all harmful and toxic pesticides in Kenya’s market based on the ingredients used, that pose serious health risks to Kenyans and develops and implements a strategy to remove such harmful pesticides from the market, recognizing that it can take several years for products to be completely unavailable through local shops and dealers.