High Court Judge Justice Kossy Bor directed the Transport Ministry to construct free toilets and sanitary facilities along highways for commuters.
The ruling was issued after a petitioner, Adrian Kamotho, moved to court seeking to have the government compelled to construct toilets along all highways in the country within 60 days.
Transport CS was consequently ordered 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 ruled that the government will not be time-bound (60 days), owing to budgetary implications of formulating and implementing the policy.
Currently, only Machakos County is known to have free toilets along the highways, with one at Mlolongo, Chumvi Junction and Mwala Junction.
Mr Kamotho relied on Article 42 of the Constitution in his petition, which entitles every citizen to a clean and healthy environment and reasonable standards of sanitation.
He wanted the duty of constructing and maintaining the toilets bestowed on KenHA and CoG (counties) respectively.
“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.
While travelling, Kenyans rely on toilets at petrol stations, or sometimes dash to the bushes to relieve themselves which is unhygienic and risky.
“The Constitution obligates the State to eliminate things that are likely to endanger the environment. Such process include 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 right to a clean and healthy environment,” ruled Bor.