Transport CS Murkomen in trouble over lack of toilets on highways

Kipchumba Murkomen

Transport CS Kipchumba Murkomen has been summoned by court to explain why there are no toilets on the highways. FILE PHOTO | NMG

A judge has summoned Transport Cabinet Secretary Kipchumba Murkomen over the failure by the government to construct toilets along highways for use by travellers as ordered by court three years ago.

Justice Oguttu Mboya of the Environment and Lands Court Nairobi on Monday directed the Cabinet Secretary to ensure compliance with the orders issued on January 16, 2020 and appear in person in court on September 20, 2023 to explain the status.

The order required the CS to constitute and chair a team that will include representatives from the council of governors (COG), Kenya National Highways Authority, Kenya Rural Roads Authority and Kenya Urban Roads Authority.

The working group was supposed to formulate the policy for the provision of toilets and other sanitation facilities along highways to give effect to the right to a clean and healthy environment along the highways. At the time the Cabinet Secretary in charge of transport and roads was James Macharia.

The orders stemmed from a public interest petition filed by lawyer Adrian Kamotho Njenga in enforcement of Article 42 of the Constitution, which "entitles every citizen the right to reasonable standards of sanitation and the right to clean and healthy environment".

He sought to end uncomfortable long road trips where travellers would be relieving themselves on government-owned toilets situated on the road side free of charge.

Justice Mboya invited Mr Murkomen in court after finding that the explanation given by Principal Secretary Joseph Mbugua, for the State department of Roads, was unsatisfactory.

In his affidavit, the PS said the CS and the ministry had complied with the court order.

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