Garbage control rules haunt Mombasa months after introduction

One of the dumping sites that has cropped up along Moi Avenue PHOTO JANET MURIKIRA

Mombasa, KENYA: When Mombasa county Environment CEC Dr. Godfery Nato took the oath of office in November last year, he inherited a very thorny issue in his department; which is to work on the garbage menace that painted a bad picture on the county.

Two months after he took the oath of office, Dr. Nato commenced on a rapid results initiative to close down unauthorized garbage dumping sites in the county.

The exercise saw notorious dumping sites among them Uwanja wa Mbuzi, Kongowea and Kiembeni closed down.

The county then restricted dumping of garbage to three dumping sites which are Mwakirunge in Kisauni sub-county, Shonda in Likoni sub-county and Kibarani in Changamwe sub-county.

In a media briefing at the county headquarters in January, a tough-talking Mr. Nato issued a stern warning to garbage generators, collectors and residents issuing new directives where the county required garbage generators to display acquire and display garbage bins whose specifications were 39 cubic feet to 2.5 cubic feet within 21 days.

The county also required garbage collectors to register themselves within and to adhere to the designated dumping sites Kibarani, Shonda and Mwakirunge.

Solution or a bigger problem?

Months after the introduction of the rules, the county is having to deal with the re-emergence of new dumping sites.

A spot check by Baraka FM revealed new dumping sites had cropped up in several places including the ever busy Moi Avenue in the Mombasa Central Business District.

Speaking to Baraka FM, Dr. Nato admitted that new dumping sites had cropped up and attributed the menace to the location of the designated dumping sites.

“ We realized that the close to 1000 garbage collectors use carts and most of them cannot pull their garbage carts all the way to Kibarani, Shonda and Mwakirunge and they end up dumping the garbage halfway,” Dr. Nato told Baraka FM.

The National Environmental Management Authority requires all waste collectors to own vehicles in order to be licensed and Dr. Nato says that the county has commenced on an exercise to engage the cart garbage collectors to forge a way forward.

Where are the garbage bins?
More than two months after Dr. Nato gave garbage generators 21 days to acquire and display garbage bins, few have adhered to that rule.

Mwanaisha Ali a businesswoman who operates an eatery in Likoni told Baraka FM that she was unaware she is supposed to acquire and display a garbage bin.

“Honestly, I have am not aware that the county issued such a directive,” Mwanaisha says.

Nato says the implementation of the garbage directive is hindered by the fact that the county has not yet gotten a reliable supplier for the bins.