Methodology for the economic estimation of the environmental damages caused by land, soil and air pollution in Kenya: a review of previously used methods

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Environmental compensation is a form of payment for pollution of nature and the environment and the destruction of land, plants or animals. One of the challenges in ensuring waste management in Kenya is how to measure the negative effect of industrial activities and waste on the environment, economy, and human health. Although the amount of compensation should be established on the basis of the environmental-economic assessment of the appropriate environment, it should also be sufficient to implement measures aimed at restoring, reproducing and improving this environment. Kenya has not yet developed a clear legal framework for compensation for environmental damage even through it has a clear and elaborate Environmental Management and Coordination Act for the protection of the environment. Previous studies on the cost of environmental damage in Kenya have successfully used two methodologies: emergency costs and soil, air, and water pollution. This works examines the essence of these methods, as well as the possibility of their application in assessing the cost of damage to the environment as a result of human economic activity.

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Introduction Sections 78 and 93 of Kenya’s environmental legislation provide for air quality standards and prohibit the release of chemicals, hazardous substances and materials or oil into the environment and liability for spills, respectively[22]. These sections provide that a person convicted of a crime must pay the cost of cleaning up the pollution, as well as any costs that may be incurred by any government agency or the agencies in rehabilitating the environment destroyed or damaged by the released wastes. The environmental impact is expressed in a number of costs. On the one hand, this is economic damage from a negative impact on the environment, on the other, the cost of preventing pollution or implementing environmental protection actions. From the point of view of rational management of production activities, it is essential, firstly, to determine the optimal ratio of these two types of costs, and, secondly, to rationally take them into account when assessing the efficiency of enterprises. For this, it is necessary to estimate as accurately as possible the quantitative damage caused by the industry to the environment. The economic assessment of enterprises’ damage to the environment is carried out based on mathematical modelling methods, generalized indirect estimates, specific damage (calculation for a mono-pollutant), or direct calculation. The practice of calculating the prevented environmental damage is also used to assess the negative impact. Environmental damage can negatively affect a large number of species, their habitats and ecosystem functions, as well as human consumption or nonconsumption values. However, in practice, ecosystems are a rather complex concept, and therefore it can be significantly challenging to understand and calculate the degree of environmental damage. The problem with calculating damage arises in connection with environmental damage, and the benefits of resources or services obtained as a result of remediation activities carried out as a result of da- mage compensation require specific professional skills from the equivalence ana- lysis team. Methodology for calculating damage to land resources from environmental pollution Land valuation is carried out in different ways and is divided into zones depending on the type of use, purpose and distance from settlements or densely populated areas. When calculating the economic assessment of damage that can be caused to land by economic activities, direct damage can be determined by multiplying the area affected by economic activities by the base price of land in the relevant region. To calculate the indirect damage, it is necessary to determine the economic damage from a decrease in livestock productivity as a result of narrowing of pastures and a decrease in the number of crops and vegetables, hay and forage caused by shearing agricultural land area. Deficiency-related damage. Direct damage includes areas that will be da- maged by direct industrial impact, as well as areas covered by roads, paved areas and other industrial facilities. The economic value of land affected by direct scarcity is measured by the value of the lost economic opportunity that should have been obtained if the land in question was used for another purpose (or for its previous purpose). Pollution-related damage. In general, land pollution can be divided into 5 levels. The concept of an acceptable pollution level means that the soil’s chemical content does not exceed the safe exposure level. The five levels of land contamination are: 1) unpolluted; 2) slightly polluted; 3) notably polluted; 4) seriously polluted; 5) dangerously polluted. Estimating the cost of soil erosion. The value of the soil can be quantified using various methods. The highest estimated cost is based on the market value of replacing free services provided by degraded soils (for example organic additives, fertilizers); some equate the costs of downstream rehabilitation, such as dredging a reservoir, with external costs [1]. Others draw inferences about costs based on the value that consumers place on non-degraded land. Finally, the quantification of environmental services is usually realized through studies to estimate the peoples’ willingness to pay for the soil’s services [2]. The objective, for each of them, is to estimate the value that can allow comparison with market prices. Previous studies of the cost of environmental damage in Kenya have successfully used two methodologies: emergency costs and soil pollution [3]. Methodology for calculating damage to a land plot using the emergy synthesis process Emergy is the energy indirectly or directly used to generate a product or service [4]. Since each input to the process is itself a product of energy conversion, the occurrence is usually referred to as energy memory. The units refer to a reference energy source (typically solar energy). The emergent unit is the solar emjoule (sage). This unit indicates that emergence arises from energy flows but is qualitatively different. In particular, emergy considers energy losses (losses of the 2nd law) during the successful conversion of standard (solar) energy into other forms of energy. The available energy after each transformation has properties that qualitatively distinguish it from heat. In the past, the emergency welding method has been used to estimate soil loss in Kenya (the author refers to the open patch panel by [3]). Their study noted that sharply accelerated soil loss is prevalent throughout Kenya, especially in the wes- tern counties where high rural population concentrations, harsh climatic impacts, and delicate soils converge. At the national level, 25 to 180 million tons of soil is lost annually due to erosion [5]. This flow has been quantified to include other aspects of the economic/ecological system for direct comparability, assuming that mitigation investments will be required to understand the problem’s magnitude better. In Kenya, the emergy synthesis has been applied to economic/ecological systems at three scales, that is, starting with the vast scale and gradually localized systems. During the emergy synthesis study, [3] developed The National Assessment to quantify land degradation’s significance to the national economy. They also created conditions for smaller assessments for three counties in Kenya’s western region. An unanticipated synthesis of regions, countries, and land uses (all on an an- nual basis) has been standardized to convey summarized information about the energy base for economic and environmental conditions [6; 7] this standard with five analytical steps [6] for details) was followed by [3] in their study: 1) compilation of transboundary flows, an internal transformation of economic and environment and resource depletion through erosion, deforestation, and mining; 2) data collection - identifying sources of data on transboundary flows and rates of depletion of domestic natural capital; 3) stream aggregation/index development. Composite indices have been developed [7] to capture various aspects of the interaction between environment and economy; 4) system diagram design - use of energy systems language to describe the re- source base; 5) tabular valuation - a standard accounting system is applied. Each resour- ce flow is valued in physical units modified by appropriate conversion to adjust the energy quality. Soil loss indices. The authors of [3] developed two new indicators precisely to quantify the loss of soil natural capital reserves in the context of Kenya’s regional energy base. Generally, soil loss is considered a depletion of non-renewable energy reserves. However, grouping these streams with mined minerals and local fossil fuels ignores the direct ecosystem services these reserves contribute. Moreover, while the immediate economic benefits of fuel extraction or mining are clear, the benefits of degraded topsoil are not obvious. In [3] authors assumed that some of these flows can be prevented through more effective land administration policies. Simplified schematic of topsoil genesis [3] The first new index balances costs and benefits for agriculture. Soil intensity in agriculture (SIA) compares the yield of crops (livestock and cereals) to the pro- duct of eroded soil: SIA , where N0a - erosion; Yag - the output of income from agriculture. The second new index links the developing foundations of the regional system to soil loss. The fraction of soil erosion use (FUSE) is expressed as a percentage of total use (U) due to erosion (N0a): FUSE . Since erosion is an integral part of agricultural yields, the index’s minimum is one. Large FUSE values designate high external costs to the economy whereas the values that are close to one imply a very harmful consequence on agriculture. The authors of [3] found out that both SIA and FUSE are independent of other typical regional analysis indices and can be calculated for all countries for which emergy assessments have been made for comparison purposes. Voluntary health insurance should differ significantly within and between regions and farming systems; identifying agricultural and/or livestock activities is not relevant at the local level. Also, to note is that SIA is the inverse of FUSE; this is not the situation on a larger scale, where (U) is not only used in agriculture. Methodology for calculating damage from soil pollution The correct and practical determination of soil pollution’s degree and scale is a rather tricky task requiring a lot of effort, money, and a relatively long time. The damage from soil pollution is the basis for calculating the cost of cleaning or cleaning contaminated soils. Thus, there is a methodology for calculating the damage caused by soil contamination, which is applicable when it was impossible to calculate costs in Kenya directly. The high content of polluting elements in the soil is not always associated with human activities and can sometimes represent a natural or litho-geochemical anomaly. So, the study of soil pollution should be done by a highly qualified and experienced soil scientist. The quality of work on assessing soil pollution will directly depend on the correctness of sampling, the reliability and accuracy of la- boratory test results, the correctness of determining the contaminated site, and the conditions for processing the results. Methodology for calculating the baseline assessment of soil pollution When calculating soil pollution’s ecological and economic assessment, the economic and environmental evaluation of the corresponding territory’s soil is multiplied by the coefficient of soil pollution for each of the pollutants.


About the authors

Martin Mamboleo

Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia (RUDN University)

Author for correspondence.

PhD student, Department of Applied Ecology, Institute of Environmental Engineering

6 Miklukho-Maklaya St, Moscow, 117198, Russian Federation


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