More than 80 illegal dumpsites across Nairobi are set to be closed down as Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) cracks down on garbage cartels in the capital.
NMS Director-General Mohammed Badi said that since coming into office in March, his administration has identified 110 such illegal dumping areas and currently, 82 have been cleared of solid waste with enforcement for closure ongoing.
The move by the new office follows a directive by President Uhuru Kenyatta to the Major General Badi-led office to crackdown on all illegal dumpsites in the capital as well as gazette legal solid waste dumpsites for both public and private solid waste collectors.
“I wish to report that NMS identified 110 illegal dumping areas and were mapped out and 82 of this have been cleared of accumulation of waste and enforcement for closure is ongoing,” said Maj Gen Badi.
He added that they are in the process of designating 35 official solid waste collection points for use by solid waste collectors in Nairobi.
Dandora Dumpsite, Nairobi’s main dumpsite, is over three times full holding more than 1.8 million tonnes of solid waste against its 500,000 tonnes capacity.
Unlicensed garbage collection business in Nairobi is a multi-billion industry controlled by cartels who include even elected leaders in the county.
The cartels have formed parallel illegal garbage dumping sites across the county – away from the official City Hall dumpsites – where they dump the solid waste after collecting them from residents who pay for their services.
At the same time, Mr Badi said that they have mapped out 122 illegal discharge points with action taken on 102 discharge points in line with the President’s directive to NMS to ensure enforcement on effluent discharge from industries and restaurants into rivers.
Garbage menace in the city has been an age-old problem with subsequent county governments only able to collect 1,000 tonnes per day of the more than 2,500 tonnes produced daily in Nairobi.
However, Badi has said that his administration has put in place an effective garbage collection and disposal methods where more than 70 percent of garbage backlog in Nairobi has been cleared.
This has been achieved through the new office, in partnership with the National Youth Service (NYS), enhancing garbage collection from initial 1,000 tonnes per day to an average of 2,500 tonnes daily with the target to dispose an average of over 3,000 tons daily.
The NYS was contracted by NMS to help in garbage collection across the 85 wards in the county.
As of March 2020, City Hall had only 10 functional garbage trucks out of the 60 at its disposal. However, this has changed as 32 such trucks have been repaired and other grounded garbage equipment reactivated and will be distributed across all the 17 sub-Counties.
“The NYS has played a critical role in this endeavour. Over 70 percent of garbage backlog has been cleared and the City is slowly regaining its glory as garbage heaps are diminishing every day,” he said.
In line with the directive to recover all contested county land earmarked for management of solid and liquid waste in Nairobi, the Maj Gen said that, working in collaboration with the Ministry of Water and Sanitation, they have repossessed three such lands.
The three include Ruai, earmarked for water and sewerage expansion projects and sanitary landfill, Kariobangi and Karen point for waste water treatment.
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