Solid waste management project ready for take off

Thursday, August 13th, 2020 00:00 |
A view of the Hon Michuki Memorial Park in Nairobi. It has been named after the late Environment Minister who spearheaded the reforestation and cleaning of rivers and lakes in the country. Photo/PD/Kenna Claude

 Kenya’s solid waste separation at source is now ready for take off, Environment Cabinet Secretary Keriako Tobiko has said.

The programme had been marked by numerous false starts. Tobiko disclosed that the solid waste management action plan would be bench-marked at the John Michuki Memorial Park, once again highlighting the importance of the country’s most modern recreational facility.

Initially earmarked for piloting at two facilities, among them Muthurwa open-air Market and Wakulima Retail Market, the programme is aimed at healing the eyesore that is the country’s daily rising mounds of waste and generate employment.

Solid waste separation

“This programme could have kicked off long time ago, but we didn’t have a clearly defined plan to implement.

However, now we have an action plan ready for Nairobi County and the Nairobi Metropolitan Services has been mandated to operationalise it,” Tobiko told People Daily while on a routine inspection of the ongoing work at Michuki Park. 

President Uhuru Kenyatta is expected to launch the Park and hand it over to Kenya Forest Service (KFS) this month.

Tobiko said the park would host the pilot programme of the solid waste separation, to demonstrate how Kenyans can be involved at the domestic level and how they can do it, to reduce the amount of waste that goes to the landfills. 

“The NMS will be in charge of sorting out of this waste. It is a multi-agency task.

The National Environment Management Authority has installed litter collection bins across the park, and we will have one main point where the waste will be separated,” Tobiko said.

“A budget for implementation of the programme is being worked on currently,” he added.

Action plan

Statistics on the amount of waste generated at source is mind-boggling, and this is the headache Tobiko said, the government is keen to address.

Averagely, every Kenyan produces half a kilo of waste on a daily basis. In Nairobi alone, a population of 4 million generates 2, 575 tons of solid waste on a daily basis, and about 230,000 tons across the country on a given day.  “Dandora is full.

We have between 60-80 per cent of all the solid waste generated in Nairobi being organic and all that ends up in the landfill.

We have 10 percent recyclable which is mainly plastic and a paltry 5 percent that needs to go to landfills if this is successfully separated at source,” he said.

He said the government is determined to create jobs, and this is well addressed in the Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Approach for Urban Areas in Kenya Action Plan that’s currently in the hands of the NMS.

“We are going to demonstrate this at Michuki Park how sorting at the source is done,” he said.

A County sustainable waste management action plan says that waste should be segregated into organic, recyclable and others with easily identifiable colour code.

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