The National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) has expressed concern over poor collection and management of garbage in urban centers in Homa-Bay County.
The County NEMA Director Josiah Nyandoro said Homa Bay has continued to perform dismally in waste management due to lack of mechanisms of recycling garbage into valuable products.
He said that the county government could generate income through proper waste management system.
“Homa Bay county government should prioritize waste management to keep environment clean and safe. The tonnes of garbage can be resourceful if properly handled,” Nyandoro said.
He said that the county government was unable to deal with wastes such as municipal solid waste, industrial waste, agricultural waste and hazardous waste.
The Director noted that the waste was found in major towns in the county with plastics increasingly becoming more visible which posed a serious environmental challenge.
He said most drainage systems in the towns like Kendu Bay, Mbita, Ndhiwa, Homa Bay, Oyugis, Magunga, Kadongo, Rangwe and others were blocked.
Speaking to the press Thursday, Nyandoro urged Homa Bay county government to regularly collect garbage to avoid pile up and blockage adding that NEMA laws required systematic waste management.
The poor waste collection in Homa-Bay town has been aggravated by frequent strikes by cleaners who down tools over delays in payment of their salaries.
Nyandoro said Homa Bay county government was facing difficulties in dealing with large quantities of waste being produced in homes and markets every day.
“There is need to segregate wastes as per the law. Areas where garbage is being deposited should be approved and licensed by the agency for effective waste management,” he said.
He said the county government should come up with modalities of addressing waste issues.
Nyandoro said vehicles and trucks used for collecting and transporting waste from a source to a destination must be licensed and have tracking documents.
He said there was need for dump sites to be fenced, have a good road for accessibility and at least one security guard.
“Most dump sites in Homa Bay are operating illegally because they are not licensed. They don’t meet NEMA requirements,” Nyandoro said.
He said that they have written a letter to the administration of Governor Gladys Wanga asking for compliance to environmental matters in waste management.
Homa Bay acting Director of Environment and Forestry Stacy Otieno said they have listed proper waste management plans in the third County Integrated Development Plan (CIDP).
She said they were planning to sort waste before disposal and have already identified a new dump site to be commissioned.
“We have applied for a license from NEMA. We call on residents to support the government in ensuring they dispose off their waste properly,” Otieno said.
By Davis Langat