Counties are still struggling to achieve effective waste management in their urban centers due to the inability to allocate sufficient funds for disposal initiatives.
Lack of funds hampers the entire waste management cycle from collection, transportation and disposal, leading to mounds of waste. The situation exposes the ever-growing population of metropolitan areas to unnecessary environmental risks.
In an analysis of the waste management situation contained in its April 2021 report, the National Environmental Complaints Committee (NECC) also notes that most urban centers lack landfills, resulting in irresponsible disposal at the site. outdoors.
“The minimal prioritization of waste management in the counties has led to an inadequate budget allocation. Low funding has affected investment in waste management facilities and equipment, ”the NECC report said.
The report signed by NECC Secretary Dr John Chumo says counties should allocate sufficient funds to implement environmental issues, including waste management.
It also urges the national government to provide enabling policies to help the respective counties to provide waste management services effectively.
“Waste disposal in the country remains a major challenge as most counties lack proper and adequate disposal sites. The few cities that have designated sites practice open-air mixed waste dumping because they lack appropriate disposal technologies and facilities, ”the report said.
This, he says, despite guidelines from the National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) that all county governments should designate waste disposal areas and take basic actions to manage waste. sites, including fencing, crew and waste weighing to ensure proper management of the landfill.
“Most of the disposal sites are not designated because they are either located near residential areas, surface water sources, hospitals, schools and other vital facilities,” the report said.
He noted that the proximity to residential areas causes pollution of the environment which increases the chances of the occurrence of human diseases.
The report established that the transport of waste is largely rudimentary using open trucks, hand carts and donkey carts, among others.
“Poor modes of transportation have led to waste, making waste a pain in the eyes. Some counties have adopted appropriate transport trucks as stipulated by waste management regulations, ”he adds.
He also noted that some county governments have privatized waste transportation under public-private partnership agreements.
The report also cites the lack of public knowledge about the importance of a clean environment, hence poor waste management at household level as the lack of segregation, reuse, reduction and recycling.
“The negative attitude towards waste management and the lack of individual responsibility have contributed to bad practices such as littering, illegal dumping and open burning,” the report said.
According to the NECC, field surveys were carried out in Nandi, Kajiado, Bungoma, Machakos, Murang’a, Kiambu, Mombasa and Kisumu.
The report was produced through consultative meetings with stakeholders and interviews with landfill managers, among others.
The NECC further noted: “As Kenya’s economy and cities develop at the accelerated pace resulting from decentralization, the challenges facing sound waste management in most counties have reached a major proportion. ”