The Kenya Environmental Health and Public Health Practitioners Union (KEHPHPU) has called out a section of the media for what it described as misrepresentation of facts.
In a statement to newsrooms, KEHPHPU sought to clarify reports on the Environmental Health and Sanitation Bill of 2023, currently under consideration in Parliament.
The union expressed deep concern over sensational headlines such as “Environmental Health and Sanitation Bill: The proposed law threatening peaceful rest of the dead dated 6th January 2024″ and “Answering call of nature in public? You risk being jailed for 90 days dated 31st December 2023.”
Furthermore, KEHPHPU stated that such reporting grossly misrepresented the purpose and intentions of the bill, sparking fear and misunderstanding among Kenyans.
Media had reported that answering the call of nature in an open place would attract penalties and even a jail term.
However, KEHPHU clarified that the Environmental Health and Sanitation Bill of 2023 is a crucial legislative initiative aimed at promoting public health, sanitation, and environmental safety in Kenya.
Again, the union emphasized that the bill does not threaten the peaceful rest of the deceased, nor does it intend to penalize individuals for basic human needs.
Instead, it aims to reinforce responsible waste management practices, uphold public hygiene standards, and safeguard the environment for current and future generations.
KEHPHPU defends bill
The union expressed regret that Nation Media and other outlets chose to misconstrue the essence of the bill, creating unnecessary confusion, panic, and misinterpretation of facts among the public.
In their statement, KEHPHPU firmly condemned such irresponsible journalism and urged media houses to uphold the highest ethical standards in reporting, ensuring accuracy and fairness in their coverage of legislative matters.
“KEHPHU remains steadfast in its support of the Environmental Health and Sanitation Bill and is committed to engaging all key relevant stakeholders in constructive dialogue to address concerns and clarify misconceptions on these critical legislations,” said Brown Ashira, Secretary General and CEO, KEHPHPU.
He added, “As advocates for public health and environmental sustainability, KEHPHPU also called for a collective effort from all stakeholders to support the bill’s objectives and work towards a cleaner, healthier, and more sustainable Kenya.
The union emphasized the need for accurate reporting and responsible journalism in fostering public understanding of vital legislative initiatives for the betterment of the nation.