The government has issued new rules on fireworks ahead of Diwali and Hindu New Year celebrations next week on Wednesday and Thursday.
A circular through the Ministry of Petroleum and Mining is advising the Hindu community to adhere to the stipulated requirements of the Explosives Act, Cap 115 regarding fireworks displays to ensure members of the public are not inconvenienced.
The regulations include the acquisition of permits from the ministry which should be obtained from the major towns of Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu, Eldoret and Nyeri.
Fireworks displays have been limited from 7 pm to 11 pm on the set dates and only in authorized venues such as clubs, hotels, temples, sports grounds school compounds or any other venue as may be authorized by an Inspector of Explosives.
Display shells are limited to a maximum of four-inch calibre in all venues in urban and built-up areas by qualified persons.
“Display shells are limited to a maximum of four-inch calibre in all venues in urban and built-up areas except as may be exempted by an Inspector of Explosives in writing. Only qualified, experienced and sober persons shall be allowed to fire aerial shells” read part of the rules spelt out in the circular released Friday.
Fireworks dealers have also been warned against selling the low explosives to children under the age of 13 and if one is found guilty of doing so, he/she shall be punished under the Explosives Act Cap 115.
Aerial display fireworks (Shells, Roman candle and cake) will only be sold to holders of permits which must have been signed by an inspector of Explosives.
The Diwali festival is coming at a time when Kenya has eased Covid-19 restrictions, most importantly the lifting of the curfew on Mashujaa day.
Religious activities can continue with the number of in-person worship having been reviewed upwards from one-third of the congregants to two-thirds as long as social distancing and other protocols are followed.
“Covid-19 protocols should be observed as prescribed by the Ministry of Health. We take this opportunity to wish the Hindu community a Happy Diwali and a Prosperous New Year” Petroleum CS John Munyes said.