A bill proposing a penalty of Sh500,000 for anyone keeping more than 30 chickens in Nakuru without a permit has sparked controversy with farmers demanding amendments.
The proposal is contained in the Nakuru County Urban Agriculture Promotion and Regulation Bill, which is before the county assembly.
According to the Bill, before being granted authority to keep the birds, the county government will inspect the keeper’s land and recommend whether it is suitable.
“The county government shall in addition to any other considerations, take into account the number of poultry that should be kept on any piece of land in relation to the size and location of that piece of land, the prevention of nuisance and protection of public health,” says the Bill.
The provisions have caused a public uproar, especially among farmers who have termed it oppressive.
The Bill will be presented to the public to give residents a chance to scrutinise it and give their views. But already farmers are demanding that the Bill be amended to remove the controversial provision.
It proposes that residents keeping more than 30 chicken without permission from the county government will be liable to a fine of Sh500,000 or one year in jail.
A section of leaders have joined those opposing the Bill, terming it retrogressive and unfriendly to farmers. People’s Power Watch lobby chairman Jesse Karanja asked MCAs not to pass it.