Waste capacity building network

Written by
Dr Ayub Macharia

Ngong dumpsite
NEMA initiated a waste management programme working with people working in dumpsites in 2012. See more details on this site:
So far, several milestones have been achieved which includes
1. Building of a shed to store valuable waste collected from the dumpsite before being sold to recyclers. One shed is ready and has been in use since 2013. Procurements are at an advanced stage for setting up another shed, a toilet, a water tank and an office for the Nuru Group who work at the dumpsite. All these investments are sponsored by NEMA.
Ngong waste shed
2. Support for community initiatives by Nuru Group whereby one of their successful initiatives is the rearing of pigs. So far, the Nuru Group is rearing over 200 pigs and feed them on waste food collected at the dumpsite. In the past, the Nuru group used to sell the waste food to pig farmers and at a very low price. Now the price of waste food at the dumpsite has gone up since they have to spare the food to feed their pigs. Hence waste food is no longer a problem at the dumpsite and all is collected and utilized. This is an innovation we’d wish to see replicated in other dumpsites to address the challenge of waste food.
3. Waste stakeholders consultations – Several consultative meetings have been held with diverse stakeholders in waste management. For instance on 26th November 2014, NEMA invited all registered recyclers for a meeting in Ngong town. Other stakeholders invited included the RCE Greater Nairobi, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology and the Ministry of Education – TVET Directorate. In attendance also were representatives of the Nuru Group who work at the Ngong Dumpsite. During the meeting, each partner was given a chance to explain their contribution to the project.
NEMA explained how the project was conceived and progress made so far. It also assured the partners that the project required everybody to participate actively as a member of a network. NEMA rooted for the establishment of a waste capacity building network whose membership would comprise of all stakeholders dealing with waste at national level.
JKUAT presented the different technologies used in handling waste. They ranged from large scale industrial processes to small scale cottage technologies.
RCE Greater Nairobi explained about their plan on waste management within the four counties surrounding Nairobi City (Nairobi, Machakos, Kiambu and Kajiado). All participants were encouraged to feel free to join the RCE Greater Nairobi as bona fide members as their activities fell within the area marked as RCE GN.
TVET Directorate emphasized that the waste management sector has been neglected in terms of capacity building. It was noted that those engaging in waste management lack the requisite skills and there were no institutions offering such. It was noted that capacity building in waste handling would offer immediate employment and economic gains as Kenya has a lot of waste scattered in many places. TVET Directorate was excited to be part of the team and promised to work with the team to deliver capacity development  courses on diverse aspects of waste management targeting especially those with low levels of education.
Nuru group representatives expressed their concerns including lack of market, being exploited by brokers, working without personal protective equipment and clothing. However, they expressed optimism that they were enthusiastic about their work since they had made it their choice livelihood earner.
Each of the private sector recyclers had an opportunity to interact with members of the Nuru Group. Each explained the kind of waste they deal with and purported areas of collaboration with the Nuru Group. They promised to buy waste from Nuru Group and also offer capacity building opportunities to the members in their factories to enhance understanding of the quality of waste that should be collected and sold to them. This would make the Nuru Group members reap more for the waste recovered.
During the plenary discussions, a lot of promises were made by the  stakeholders. Some of the promises included

  • Provision of free transport for waste recovered
  • Provision of free containers for sorted waste
  • Provision of personal protective equipment (NEMA fulfilled her promises and provided 30 Overalls, 50 dust-coats, 40 gloves, 30 helmets and 400 nose masks to the Nuru group). Another stakeholder promised to give PPEs to each of the over 150 Nuru Group members.
  • Provision of free training for waste handlers specific for each area of expertise by the recyclers.
  • Provision of building boards for erecting more sheds for sorted waste
  • TVET promised to work with the stakeholders to develop courses on waste management value chain which would be mounted in all polytechnics in Kenya.

During the workshop, the Nuru group exchanged business cards with the recyclers and promised each other to work together.
One of the sessions during the workshop was dedicated to visiting the dumpsite where the Nuru group guided the recyclers on what they do. This provided further opportunities for collaboration.
This project is ongoing and I will keep you posted.

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