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Leaders push for national government to take over Dandora dumpsite

By George Kebaso
Sunday, February 16th, 2020
Dandora dumpsite PHOTO/COURTESY
In summary

The national government may take over Dandora Dumpsite as concerns continue to grow that it has become a business ground for the powerful.

Embakasi North Member of Parliament (MP), Mwangi Gakuya and his Gatundu South counterpart, Moses Kuria, have threatened to vote against Nairobi County's budget for solid waste management in the city.

The Mps, both who serve in the Budget Committee of the National Assembly accused the Nairobi’s leadership of failing to address the challenges of the dumpsite.

Both were speaking at a church event in Soul Harvesters International Church in the heart of Dandora semi-informal settlement.

Kuria said the dumpsite had become an exclusive business for county chiefs.

Operated by cartels

“The dumpsite has become certain people’s shop. Everyone who comes into the leadership of the county, engages in the business opportunity the dumpsite offers.

When Kidero was the governor, he minted millions of shillings from the dumpsite. It is the same with the current Governor Sonko,” said Kuria.

“It’s now time we closed that this shop so that we can release some space occupied by the dumpsite to be used for other installations that can provide job opportunities for the youth,” he added.

He threatened that together with Gakuya they are going to propose a budget cut or withdrawal for waste management in the city.

On his part, Gakuya said it only requires political goodwill from the county leadership to resolve the challenges brought about by the dumpsite.

“Maintenance and management of the dumpsite just requires an approval of the County to start modern waste management activities such as recycling, bit there are people in that County who are sleeping on their job,” he said.

Gakuya noted that if that’s not possible then it is better to approach the national government to take over its management.

Area MCA, Silas Ongwae had made a passionate appeal to the national government to help in relocating the 76-acre landfill. “As the area residents, we are appealing that this dumpsite be relocated because it’s a health hazard,” Ongwae said.

Long Overdue

In response, Deputy President, William Ruto who presided over the fundraiser said that it had taken unnecessarily long for the County Governmentto address the challenges of Dandora dumpsite.

“We had agreed with your Governor, Sonko that it was necessary for us to look into modern ways of addressing this dumpsite, bit that has not happened,” he said.

However, the DP hinted that if that’s not possible owing to the current challenges the county is facing, there would be need for the national government to step in.

“We will have to find ways of addressing this matter once and for all. We are going to step in as the national government and put in place an infrastructural system that will help create jobs for the youth through the installation of recycling plants, so that we can be able to free space for constriction of hospitals, schools and other social amenities,” said Ruto.

Nairobi’s waste disposal problems go back a long way and there have been previous efforts to sort them out.

Nairobi’s current waste disposal system is fraught with major problems.

The city has failed to prioritise solid waste management not to mention inadequate infrastructure.

There are over 150 private sector waste operators independently involved in various aspects of waste management.

Recently, the county through a proposed solid waste management by the Ministry of Environment assured the city’s residents that it will pilot that programme starting with Muthurwa and Wakulima retail markets.

“We will sort our waste at source. This will create job opportunities for our unemployed youth,” said Environment Executive Member, Veska Kangogo last year.