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Poor state of Malindi dumpsite irks NEMA 

The National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) has directed the County Government of Kilifi to urgently regularize operations at the Malindi dumpsite.

NEMA Board of Directors Chairman John Konchella said the environmental watchdog had written to the county government, giving it a ten-point plan to ensure that there is no further pollution of the environment at and around the garbage dump.

The chairman led a team of NEMA directors and county government officials on a tour of the facility situated in Kasorina area in the outskirts of Malindi town Saturday, where he decried the poor state of the dumpsite and directed the county government to take urgent remedial measures.

“The situation at this dumpsite is very wanting and we are telling the county government of Kilifi to take the necessary actions by acting on the ten-point minimums we require of them, because this is not a NEMA function, it is a devolved function,” he said.

He said the dumpsite required urgent fencing and that all vehicles carrying garbage to the site were licensed by NEMA to ensure compliance and accountability.

“We saw the place being encroached by both human beings and animals. We also noted that medical waste, which should be incinerated elsewhere, is being dumped here and this is unacceptable,” he said.

He asked the county government to ensure that a record of all vehicles dumping waste at the site is properly kept to prevent wanton dumping that he said had contributed immensely to the degradation of the area.

“There must be somebody who is going to check what is brought in to stop what is currently happening here, because if we leave the dumpsite just to remain the way is, many things will be dumped there and definitely the people living around here will be affected.

He noted that the dumpsite was surrounded by human settlements and tourist hotels and added that unless urgent measures are taken, the health of the people as well as the tourism sector would be adversely affected.

Accompanied by NEMA board of directors and their stakeholders including the Kilifi county government officials, the chairman was not pleased to see medical waste being dumped without any proper recycling done to ensure the local people are not affected.

“The county government must ensure that medical waste is separated from other waste because this place is close with the people living around hence it can affect them when they inhale the air released here,” he said.

Residents who spoke to journalists at the site urged the county government to relocate the dumpsite and allocate the land to them as it was their ancestral land.

Speaking on behalf of the residents, Ali Muhaso and Sammy Chembe, also complained that the dumpsite posed a health hazard to them and that its continued stay at the area would also affect tourism since a number of tourist establishments were surrounding it.

County government officials who accompanied the NEMA team declined to comment saying they did not wish to be seen to be in conflict.

However, speaking at another function recently, Kilifi County Executive Committee Member for Water, Forestry, Environment and Natural Resources Karisa Kiringi Mwachitu, said the county government was in the process of phasing out dumping of waste.

He said the devolved unit would embark on the construction of solid waste recycling plants so that garbage may no longer be a problem but an income generating venture.

by Levis Tunje/Emmanuel Masha

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