As provided for in the Second Schedule, Section 5 j (ix) of the Elections Act, 2011 and the Elections Handbook for Security Personnel by the Independent Electoral Boundaries Commission (IEBC), all candidates and every political party have a responsibility to remove all their banners, placards and posters erected during the election period; within seven days after the close of the General Elections.
The National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) – which is mandated to exercise general supervision and coordination over all matters relating to the environment and to be the principal instrument of Government in the implementation of all policies relating to the Environment – advises the county governments to liaise with IEBC to enforce applicable statutes to ensure safe removal and disposal of all the campaign materials
Removal of the campaign posters and material ensures a clean and healthy environment for the Kenyan people as envisaged in the Kenyan Constitution.
According to the Environment Management Coordination Act, 2013, all candidates are required to clear campaign materials after elections to prevent environmental pollution.
The National Environment Management Authority stated that they would hold accountable all candidates who would not clear their campaign posters from public space after the General Elections.
Residents – members of the business community, informal traders and youths – signed up to participate in the exercise which received support from the various County Governments.
All political aspirants are required to pay a fee to facilitate removal of posters placed on all public places when the campaign period ends.
The fee is paid to the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) which is in accordance to the Environment Management Coordination (EMCA) Act 2013.The fee known as the Environment Deposit Bond seeks to ensure that all political aspirants are responsible for the littering during the campaign period.
The deposit bond is refundable but only if the aspirants clear their posters and it’s approved by NEMA officials. It is directed to the Nema Environment Restoration Fund account. It is also extended to other areas such as industrial plants and factories which also have effects on the environmemt.This is to ensure good environmental practices are achieved without adversely affecting economic viability and compliance with remediation obligations and availability of funds for remediation.
Governor Mike Sonko, MP Esther Passaris and former Starehe MP Aspirant Boniface Mwangi led the way in removing their campaign posters from City walls. Twenty-three -year old Susan Silantoi, who vied for Nairobi senator, also started removing her campaign posters way before others did so.
The proliferation of posters advertising the suitability of aspirants to various political offices so roused the NEMA that it threatened to slap the offenders with a fine. NEMA’s beef was with campaign agents who pasted posters everywhere without the slightest care about the environmental impact their actions posed.
Everywhere the eye landed in most towns and trading centers, lay a campaign poster. There is no lamp post, billboard, wall or surface where these posters could not be found. Not even vital road signs had been spared. That is in spite of prominent warnings by the Kenya National Highways Authority of a Sh85, 000 fine for posters placed on road furniture.
In future, Candidates should take it upon themselves to clear their campaign posters and material even before NEMA and IEBC blows the whistle. It is all about taking responsibility.Mobilising supporters to assist in pulling down the campaign material should not be that difficult a task. Sonko proved it by using Sonko Rescue Team and further hiring a 1000 youth for the exercise. In future elections, we expect more Candidates to be more proactive.