Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Kenya’s waste management challenge

Lisa Akinyi May in IRIN: As the urban population in Nairobi and elsewhere in East Africa grows, so does the solid waste management burden - a situation worsened by poor funding for urban sanitation departments and a lack of enforcement of sanitation regulations.  At least 100 million people in East Africa lack access to improved sanitation, according to UN sources.

“Due to budgetary deficiencies, solid waste management is not a priority of the town authorities. In addition, insufficient public awareness and enforcement of legislation is also a hindrance,” Andre Dzikus, coordinator of the urban basic services section of the UN Human Settlement Programme (UN-HABITAT), told IRIN.

In Nairobi, a large percentage of solid waste is managed by the private sector and NGOs because the city council lacks adequate capacity, says Dzikus.  The city council’s solid waste department, like those in Kampala and Dar es Salaam, is not well equipped, with transport vehicles few and often poorly serviced, despite increasing waste quantities due to rapid urbanization, he added.

Understaffing and a lack of skilled staff in waste management is also a challenge.  Without proper controls, solid waste is often dumped in abandoned quarries or similar sites. In Nairobi, for example, municipal waste is taken to the Dandora dumping site, a former quarry some 25km east....

The Kibera district in Nairobi, shot by Blazej Mikula, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

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