Kenyans seeking to use light explosives to mark any festivities will first have to seek permission from the government.
This is according to Chief Administrative Secretary for Petroleum and Mining John Mosonik, who warned that the law must be followed when lighting up fireworks during Christmas and New Year celebrations across the country.
“I wish to remind members of the public that lighting of fireworks is not something you wake up and perform. It is regulated and permission from the relevant government departments must be sought,” he said.
Speaking during a pre-Christmas prayer session at Uswet School grounds in Sotik Constituency in Bomet, he said security agencies must also be informed by those wishing to use the light explosives.
“In the backdrop of terror attacks that have affected the region, and to avoid criminals taking advantage of the holidays to perpetrate crimes, security agencies in the country must be informed of such planned ceremonies,” said Mr Mosonik.
A permit must be sought from the National Environment Management Authority (Nema) for the use of the explosives owing to noise pollution it causes residents.
Additionally, a Fireworks Display Permit must be sought from the Mines and Geology Department which attracts an application fee of Sh500 and a licence fee of Sh 5,000, after which one is issued with a Nema licence, which is mandatory. The venue of the event has to be stated in the application.
Under Nema regulations, it is an offence for one to cause any noise that will be heard beyond 30 metres from where he/she resides or operates from.
Gunpowder used in fireworks consists of 75 per cent of potassium nitrate mixed with charcoal and sulphur. When detonated, it releases a faint violet colour to spark, causing a chemical crackling noise that can be heard from several kilometres away.
If mishandled, fireworks can cause fires, damage property and injure people.