In August this year, an unusual scene was visited upon lawmakers at the Homa Bay County Assembly in Kenya.
The lawmakers had returned from a lunch break and were debating about market stalls when a foul smell sliced through the chamber, halting proceedings.
A member of the House, Julius Gaya, had news for the presiding speaker, Edwin Kakach.
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“Honourable Speaker, one of us has polluted the air and I know who it is,” he said. The member who was charged replied: “I am not the one. I cannot do such a thing in front of my colleagues.”
Eventually, the speaker suspended proceedings for about 10 minutes asking members to take a breather outside the chamber. The foul smell evaporated, paving way for work to commence.
In just a month, a fart related news has emerged again from Kenya. This time around, a Kenyan member of parliament, Lilian Achieng Gogo, is calling for passage of a law to curb farting on planes.
The MP for Rangwe constituency in western Kenya believes that farting on airplanes adds up to the ‘discomfort and insecurity on board’ flights, reports Daily Nation.
The MPs were digesting contents of a report regarding the introduction of basic systems aboard flights to address complaints of discomfort that passengers give, especially on long flights. At stake was the amendment to the convention of offences committed on board aircraft.
Gogo’s discomfort aboard planes at the hands of brute people who release flatulence at will led to her call.
“There is one irritant that is often ignored and this is the level of farting within the aircraft. There are passengers, who literary irritate fellow passengers by passing bad smell and uncomfortable fart. If there is anyone given irritant that makes people fight on board, it is the fart, it is terrible within the plane.”
But how could farts be policed as asked by temporary speaker Christopher Omulele?
“We need special training on aircraft crew so that they provide medicines like bicarbonate of soda after to passengers after meals and drinks have been served. We should also have paramedics, who are trained in basic first aid included in the international and local flights,” Gogo said.
She noted that providing the basic medical systems to manage food that is offered aboard flights will reduce the level of gas that one can release during flight.
She said the matter is worsened by the fact that passengers are immobilised for long hours, predisposing them to offensive emissions.
The lawmaker said that the bad habit has not spared the local flights either. She pointed out that Kisumu-Nairobi and Nairobi-Mombasa flights are especially prone to high levels of farting.
“I have experienced passengers go through the agony of long flights. We cannot be secure on board when the other passengers are experiencing discomfort. Farting and flatulence is done progressively and can be contained,” she said.
The legislator also called for the limitation of the amount of alcohol served.
“The drinking that happens in flights is terrible, it’s worse than what happens here on the ground. We should have a system where we are able to manage and control… also people’s medical history should be obtained before they are served certain alcoholic drinks for their own security.”
A committee member wished Gogo had submitted her observation and concerns to the amendment committee to be factored into the amended law.
It is uncertain why the issue of flatulence keeps emerging from the East African state. Perhaps, it’s time the population is urged to avoid or reduce the intake of items such as beans, broccoli, wheat, onions, garlic, dairy products, sugar alcohols, fizzy drinks, beer, and fatty foods which cause gas.