PLUGGING THE FART

MP's proposal to curb farting in planes splits hairs

'If I am the only one who has experienced this then the rest of you are very lucky'

In Summary
  • The proposal has raised concern over Rangwe MP Lilian Gogo's priorities
  • The protocol proposed for amendment stipulates that a crime committed  aboard an aircraft can only be punished in the plane's country of registration 
Rangwe MP Lillian Gogo at Nyahera Girls' Secondary School at a past event
CHILD OFFENDERS: Rangwe MP Lillian Gogo at Nyahera Girls' Secondary School at a past event
Image: Manue Odeny

An MP's light touch call for airlines to shield passengers from the discomfort caused by those who fart has elicited criticism.

Rangwe representative Lilian Gogo said that farting, if not managed well, was a  security risk in an aircraft.

“Farting is terrible in planes ... even in Kenya when you take a flight from Kisumu to Nairobi or Nairobi to Mombasa. If I am the only one who has experienced this then the rest of you are very lucky,” she said to the amusement of fellow legislators.

She was contributing to the debate on the ratification of the protocol to amend the Convention of Offences and Certain Acts Committed on Board Aircraft.

The protocol is being amended to give states where a plane lands or originates from powers to punish those who commit offences on air upon landing in any of the state's air facilities.

The changes follow a situation of the Tokyo Convention of 1963 limiting the jurisdiction to take action over offences and other acts committed on board aircraft to the state of registration of an aircraft.

Critics took on the legislator, pointing out that much as she raised a valid point, she should have concentrated on more crucial matters.

“Instead of articulating for ladies to get sanitary pads, she is thinking of banning farting in planes,” a Twitter user said.

Gogo painted a scene of someone taking breakfast, lunch, dinner, another lunch and breakfast in a 17-hour flight. “…you are seated and immobilised at one point. It is a problem.” 

To her, an unruly drunk passenger rates lowly as an irritant compared to “some passengers who pass irritable bad-smelling and uncomfortable farts.”

She said airlines should be compelled to come up with systems to check the foods served on board and have basic medication to reduce flatulence.

Gogo, whose sentiments have sparked criticism over her priorities as an MP, said:

“We should have a basic provision of medicine like Eno. This should be done. It should be a practice that should be embedded in law.” 

She said planes had no medicines except for basic ones like Paracetamol.

“It is important that we include basic medication like bicarbonates, which are never in the flight. And if they are there, the crew is scared to give them.”