Food and used condoms are among the most dumped items in five major towns in the country, a report has shown.
The National Solid Waste Management Strategy report by the National Environment and Management Authority (Nema) identify informal settlements in Nairobi, Nakuru, Eldoret, Mombasa and Kisumu as the places where food, used condoms and plastics are most dumped.
Nakuru and Eldoret lead the pack with a combined 400 tonnes of food dumped daily - enough to feed millions of Kenyans currently experiencing a food shortage.
It is unfortunate that while the Government recently announced that more than 1.6 million Kenyans are in urgent need of food, those living in urban areas are filling their garbage bins with kitchen leftovers and food that has gone bad.
Most of the places where people are facing starvation are areas where they rely on crop produce from their farms. This is unlike in urban areas where people are employed and salaried.
“Most commonly dumped foods remain include ugali, bananas, sukuma wiki and its stalks, and potatoes,” said Nema Director General Geoffrey Wahungu.
Mr Wahungu, however, said it was rare to find food dumped in the slums, where the most common discarded items were condoms and plastics.
The report also notes that waste collection and disposal remain a major challenge in most of the counties due to lack of efficient waste disposal systems and adequate disposal sites.
Nema now wants the counties to establish waste collection points in all trading centres and acquire trucks suitable for transporting waste.
Speaking at the launch of the report, Environment, Water and Natural Resources Cabinet Secretary Judi Wakhungu said accumulated waste deposits could stagnate the country’s development due to a rise of diseases associated with the waste.
“Improper management of waste causes emission of greenhouse gases, which leads to climate change,” said Ms Wakhungu.