Poor policies stand in Kenya’s way to enact Natural Resources laws

The chairperson of the departmental committee on environment and natural resources of the national assembly Amina Abdalla last week displayed the committee’s frustration while creating laws that will regulate the extractive sector.

Speaking during the launch of the KCSPOG agenda setting report the chairperson told attendees that the is almost non-existence and poorly articulated over-arching policy framework that is fundamental to guide natural resources legislation.

She adds that there continue to be a mismatch between the proposed legislation and the parent policy documents on top of the committee’s duty to enact stand-alone proposed laws that have no articulated policy guide.

“Legislations cannot be expected to replace the need for policy framework. Evidence of challenges posed by these kind of proposed legislations are visible from the numerous amendments we suggest at the committee level to enhance these laws,” she said.

She adds that the reactive basis that has shaped the government decisions are as a result of the absence of a strong policy foundation that is not good for the sector.

Other challenges faced by the committee include the interpretations of the provisions of the constitution where there is the need to balance the role and interest of the community and the role of the government as a custodian of the resources as well as deal with the contentious issue of revenue sharing.

The committee has also been forced to visit Australia for a bench marking visit where it met practitioners, players in the industry as well as the academia as the members sought for ground footing on the ongoings in the sector.

Author: Samuel Kamau Mbote

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