30 November 2012

Kenya: Hotels Get Reprieve From NEMA Waste Fee

Hotels yesterday got a reprieve after the National Environment Management Authority rescinded a decision to levy a blanket charge for the effluent discharge licenses that would have made them pay same as factories.

The Kenya Association of Hotelkeepers and Caterers has for months been lobbying for amendments to the NEMA regulations that sought to reduce the pollution by the hotel industry.

"Our concern was that we were being lumped together with factories while in hotels its just effluent and grease discharge and not chemicals as in the case for factories," said chairman of KAHC Mike Macharia.

NEMA had proposed a Sh100,000 fee for the license. KAHC lobbied for a reduction and suggested that it's members be charged according to the size of hotel.

Nema yesterday said it had considered KAHC's proposals and had gazetted the regulations which incorporated the association's amendments.

"It frees up some money for organisations to spend elsewhere like marketing, because if you look at it now; if I pay 25,000 instead of the 100,000, I have an extra 75,000 to put in other areas,' noted Macharia.

Meanwhile, KAHC said, it has stationed people in areas of the country considered hotspots during elections period to give security updates to help tour companies manage their operations effectively.

KAHC explained that placing people to monitor hotspots will enable tour firms redirect visitor traffic in case of any problem arises.

Macharia revealed that tourism business in the Coast has been affected the most due to insecurity issues but noted that it could be revived by domestic tourists who plan their holidays at the last minute.

"We are meeting with KTB (Kenya Tourism Board) tomorrow (today) to see if we can put together a campaign for the domestic market," Macharia said at a media briefing yesterday.

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