Waste Management Award for Counties

Written by
Dr Ayub Macharia

3e-ngong dumpsite
The amount of waste generated in Kenya is enormous. According to the Kenya State of Environment Report of 2011 (NEMA, 2012: 76), Nairobi City alone generates 2,400 tonnes of waste daily. An average Nairobi resident generates 245Kgs of waste annually. Only 60% of this waste is collected and taken to Dandora dumpsite. The remaining 40% is left uncollected, is dumped in open areas and pits, or is disposed off through open burning causing environmental degradation and health hazards to city residents.
The waste pollution scenario is the same in all urban centres. There are no waste designated sites, waste is not collected and disposed appropriately. This is against the Environmental Management and Coordination Act (1999), the Waste Management Regulations (2006) and Article 42 of the Constitution.
Vision 2030 prioritized waste management as a flagship project to be implemented by NEMA and all the County Governments.
In April 2013, NEMA communicated to all Counties the minimum guidelines to be followed to improve waste management in Kenya. In June 2015, NEMA will be running an award to recognize those counties that have demonstrated best practices in implementing the minimum waste management guidelines below.
Waste collection

  1. Zoning of waste operational areas
  2. Waste related activities such as curbside/door to door collection, skips/bulk containers and waste cubicles do not become eyesores but are regularly removed in a timely manner and taken to disposal sites.
  3. Improved waste collection methods and facilities in terms of adequacy and effectiveness to avoid dumping waste on the streets

Waste transportation

  1. All waste should be removed from the streets by use of appropriate and adequate transport vehicles that must be NEMA licensed

Waste disposal site

  1. Presence of official designated disposal sites
  2. Disposal sites to be secured with a fence and a gate manned by a County Government official
  3. Weigh or estimate and record the amount of incoming waste in tonnes
  4. Develop motorable roads inside the dumpsite to ensure vehicles do not get stuck as they go to the tipping site
  5. Spread the waste at regular intervals, compact and cover it
  6. Develop and install proper control system for dumpsite fires and extinguish all fires at site
  7. Enhance security and control of the disposal sites so that illegal activities are contained

Requirement for licensing

  1. All waste transportation vehicles to be licensed by NEMA
  2. All waste disposal sites to be licensed by NEMA

The guidelines above constitute the framework criteria upon which all counties will be assessed to qualify for the award.

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