Nakuru orders boda bodas to remove improvised exhausts in war on air pollution

Governor Lee Kinyanjui says noise pollution disturbing residents, hindering conference tourism

In Summary
  • Environmental Management and Coordination (Noise and Excessive Vibration) Pollution Control Regulations 2009 states that no person shall operate motorable vessel which produces any loud or unusual sound that exceeds 84 decibels when accelerating.
  • Anyone operating a motorable vessel, including cars, with manipulated exhausts and sound systems in Nakuru county will be deemed to have committed an offence
A motorcycle
A motorcycle
Image: FILE


Boda boda riders in Nakuru have 14 days to remove improvised exhaust pipes and sound amplifiers fitted in their motorcycles as part of the fight against air pollution in the county.

Authorities have accused boda boda riders of causing noise pollution by playing loud music on their bikes. Motorcycles with improvised exhaust pipes are also blamed for polluting the air.

Nakuru county has over 53,000 boda bodas most of which operate in the major towns of Nakuru, Molo, Njoro, Gilgil and Naivasha.

Authorities say they have become a nuisance.

The county government through its environment department issued a 14-day notice requiring motorcycle operators to remove modifications that contribute to pollution.

The notice signed by environment chief officer Kiogora Murithi said anyone operating a motorable vessel including cars with manipulated exhaust and sound systems will be deemed to have committed an offence.

“Notice is hereby issued to all motorbike operators that the county government is concerned with the increased non-compliance with this notice. Be notified that legal action will be taken against the offender without further reference,” Murithi said.

The official cited Article 42 of the Constitution which provides that every Kenyan has the right to a clean and healthy environment.

He said the Environmental Management and Coordination (Noise and Excessive Vibration) Pollution Control Regulations, 2009 state that no person shall operate a motorable vessel that produces any loud or unusual sound and exceeds 84 decibels when accelerating.

These regulations are aim at ensuring the maintenance of a healthy environment for all people, the tranquillity of their surroundings and their psychological wellbeing by regulating noise levels and excessive vibration.

Murithi's notice was dated July 7. It came less than two months after Nakuru town got the approval of the Senate to be elevated to a city. It was also less than a month after Governor Lee Kinyanjui complained of unnecessary noise from manipulated exhausts in the busy town.

During a meeting with hoteliers, the governor said noise pollution was disturbing residents and also hindering conference tourism.

“I have experienced it first hand at my town office. Sometimes I have guests and we have to pause our discussions every time a motorbike with modified exhaust pipes passes,” Kinyanjui said.

Boda boda officials have since negotiated for more time to remove the modifications on their bikes. Consequently, the county extended the deadline by a week.

Nakuru Boda Boda Motorbike Operators Association chairman Samuel Munyiri told the Star they were ready to comply with the new directive.

He said many riders manipulated their exhaust pipes with the false belief that the modification would enhance engine power.

“Most of the people who are changing their exhaust pipes are the young riders and we have been creating awareness among them for the past one week. We also urge the county government to help us educate them,” Munyiri said.

He supported the county orders saying officials were only enforcing a law that has been in existence.

Munyiri said the move would be good even for customers who have been unable to use their mobile phones during rides.

“Some customers may want to use their phones, ask directions or give instructions to the rider which is impossible due to the loud exhaust pipes,” he said.


Edited by P.O