Kericho dumpsite will soon be fenced and gated to better control and manage the amount of garbage poured in the five acre dumpsite.
This is according to the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) that has raised concerns over the increasing volumes of garbage dumped at the site that could soon fill to capacity.
Speaking to KNA at his office, the Kericho County Director of NEMA Valentine Lala said the all-round fencing of the waste yard that is situated a few meters from Kericho town will secure it and provide an effective way of managing and controlling waste being dumped.
Mr. Lala said that NEMA would manage the volumes of waste at the dumpsite by ensuring garbage that should be recycled goes direct to the recyclers adding that dumping metals, plastics and paper at the dumpsite will not be allowed since they are recyclable.
“If the technology of recycling is used, the dumpsite cannot be filled to capacity since less garbage is coming in. The biomedical waste should go direct to the incinerators. The essence of securing the dumpsite with the gate is ensuring we control waste taken to the dumpsite, by assessing which type of waste is being brought,” he noted.
Mr. Lala added that plans were at an advanced stage with the Kericho County government officials to allow the dumping of compacted and processed garbage at the disused quarries arguing that processed garbage has no further biological processes going on.
He also noted that roads leading to the center of the dumpsite were almost impassable due to dumping of huge volumes of garbage along the roads which he promised was being addressed to ensure the infrastructure at the dumpsite is renovated for ease of transportation of garbage to the right sections of the trash dump.
“The County government’s lorries and private waste transporters tendered by the County government and licensed by NEMA is the only ones authorized at the dumpsite,” said Mr. Lala.
The NEMA director also pointed out that his department was keen to ensure Kericho residents breathed fresh air by disallowing burning of tires, plastics and other harmful material from the dumpsite saying the carbon emission to the atmosphere was harmful to human health.
He was speaking as the world marked the International Day of Clean Air for blue skies whose theme this year is “Healthy Air, Healthy Planet” which emphasizes the health aspects of air pollution, especially considering the Covid-19 pandemic.
Mr. Lala urged tea factories around Kericho to continue being compliant to the quality of air regulations by NEMA adding that factory emission to the atmosphere could cause respiratory diseases to humans, animals and plants if their levels exceed in the atmosphere.
“Factories are required to submit to us a report indicating the quality of air in terms of nitrogen oxide, carbon dioxide, water vapor, and particulate matter – small solids in the air. When the particulate matter is breathed, they clog the chest. Some respiratory diseases are actually attributed to the particulate matter and some of these air pollutants that come from factories and human activities,” Mr. Lala stressed.
He also pointed out that in Kericho County, NEMA closely monitors emissions by tea factories, quarries, and users of generators since they were the main dischargers of smoke to the atmosphere.
According to United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), tiny, invisible particles of pollution penetrate deep into our lungs, bloodstream, and bodies and are responsible for about one-third of deaths from stroke, chronic respiratory disease, and lung cancer, as well as one quarter of deaths from heart attack.
A report by UNEP shows that clean air is important for the health and day-to-day lives of people, while air pollution is the single greatest environmental risk to human health and disproportionately affects women, children and older persons, and also has a negative impact on ecosystems.
By Kibe Mburu