A visit to Chakaleri solid waste dump site a few metres from the Voi-Taveta highway near Landi, Mwatate Sub-County tells a tale of a county that is on the verge of being overwhelmed by its solid waste production.
The site has litter all over the place and sooty smoke coming from a freshly lit fire to burn the growing mountain of garbage.
“Our solid waste collection and disposal is nothing to write home about. There is a lot of ground to be covered if we’re to keep our environment free from solid and other wastes,” said Grantone Mwandawiro, the County Executive Committee Member for Water & Sanitation, Climate Change Environment, and Natural Resources.
Mr Mwandawiro was speaking to his departmental heads at Mwatate Municipality offices where he lamented the state of waste collection and disposal in the entire county and announced a set of new regulations and measures to arrest the solid waste menace.
“We’re at a breaking point and the county’s executive and legislative wings should develop a policy and regulatory framework to rein on waste disposal,” said Mwandawiro.
According to Mwandawiro, the county’s collection and disposal of solid waste are at a measly thirty per cent, leaving a huge burden of poorly disposed and uncollected waste in the environment.
“Each day, 200 tonnes of solid waste are generated and only thirty per cent is collected and disposed of properly. The remaining seventy per cent is poorly disposed of and lies within our living places both in the rural and urban centres,” said Mwandawiro.
Speaking on the matter, Edith Kalo, County Director of Environment- NEMA, said that indeed the county is in a dire solid waste collection and disposal situation, and things need to change.
“Solid waste collection and disposal within the county is indeed on verge of becoming a menace if nothing is done quickly,” said Kalo.
She further added that NEMA in collaboration with the county government, the national government, and non-governmental players is in consultation to draft a legislative policy on the issue of waste collection and management.
“NEMA as the environmental custodian in conjunction with the county and national governments as well as other non-governmental stakeholders are working on legislation to streamline waste collection and management in the county,” said Kalo.
By Arnold Linga Masila