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Concern raised over poor waste management in Murang’a

The County Assembly of Murang’a has raised concern over poor management of solid waste in the county.

In a report tabled before the house by chairperson for environment and natural resources committee Damaris Kagiri, it was revealed that the county is facing a lot of challenges due to lack of infrastructure including garbage disposal trucks, sanitary landfill and garbage bins among others.

Kagiri, noted that a landfill being constructed at Gikono area in Maragua Sub County in Murang’a to handle solid waste is 80 per cent complete.

Mitumbiri sanitary landfill, which is being constructed in a 50-acre piece of land, is expected to manage waste from the county for a period of 10 years and is termed as a best way of handling waste as compared to common dumpsite.

“The project Sh1 billion project being funded by World Bank through Nairobi Metropolitan Services Improvement Project (NaMSIP), will help the county solve challenges facing solid waste management once completed,” Kagiri said.

“The construction of the landfill has stalled and the discussion on handing over to the county government is still not concluded,” she said, adding that other attached structures will be developed to facilitate transportation of waste from different parts of the county to the facility.

According to the report, as at 2018, Murang’a County had 412 market places that together with households and other institutions produce solid waste of approximately 325 tons per day.

“The population is expected to have increased with a corresponding soaring waste product,” said Kagiri, adding that the county should therefore adopt the best strategies of disposing of the solid waste.

She noted that the county has previously supplied plastic garbage bins to enhance garbage collection at the point of origin. The bins have however not been adequate to serve the entire population.

The report further stated that waste generated is disposed of in designated open dumpsites across the county, except for biomedical waste, which is largely disposed through incineration and rudimentary kilns.

“Some of the challenges facing these dumpsites include lack of proper road networks inside the sites, scavenging eyesore stench, bot flies, lack of perimeter walls and inaccessibility during wet seasons” she said.

With the adoption of the report, the MCAs recommended that County Executive for Environment and Climate Change should formulate a policy paper and legislation to guide regulations guiding solid waste management in the county.

The report further recommended the county to ensure that partnership with private garbage collection services be done in the entire county and that the county should consider Community Based Organizations (CBOs) preferably targeting women and youth groups and persons living with disability as part of their job creation and empowerment.

The MCAs also observed the need for procurement of two modern garbage transportation vehicles and the county to have a register of all licensed garbage collection service providers in order to improve the status of solid waste management in the county.

The assembly adopted a report and urged the county government to conduct a public awareness campaign on solid waste management to educate the county residents on proper waste disposal strategies.

By Anita Omwenga

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