The High Court on Tuesday directed the government to build free toilets and sanitary facilities along Kenyan highways for travelers.
Justice Kossy Bor made the ruling following a petition filed by Adrian Kamotho, who asked the court to compel the Ministry of Transport to build lavatories along all highways in the country within 60 days.
Justice Bor directed Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia to constitute a team from the council of governors (CoG), Kenya National Highways Authority (KenHA), Kenya Rural Roads Authority and Kenya Urban Roads Authority to address the issue.
The judge however declined to issue a 60-day ultimatum to the government as sought by the petitioner, citing budgetary implications of formulating and implementing the policy.
Presently, only Machakos County has constructed free toilets along the highways, with one at Mlolongo, Chumvi Junction and Mwala Junction.
In his petition, Kamotho cited Article 42 of the Constitution, which entitles every citizen to a clean and healthy environment and reasonable standards of sanitation. He wanted the duty of putting up and maintaining the toilets bestowed on KenHA and counties.
“The national transport policy should incorporate toilets and other sanitation on road stops on the national and international trunk roads. The policy should take into account the need to have toilets and other sanitation facilities maintained properly by the county governments once constructed,” ruled the judge.
“The Constitution obligates the State to eliminate things that are likely to endanger the environment. Such a process includes road users relieving themselves in bushes and open spaces along the road. The State needs to provide clean and decent toilets for road users to relieve themselves while on their journeys to give the right to a clean and healthy environment.”