Governor Evans Kidero blames corruption and cartels for city garbage menace

Nairobi River where it passes Dandora estate that has been used as dumping site, the river had been clean following cleaning efforts by the late Environment Minister John Michuki. PHOTO: JENIPHER WACHIE

KENYA: Nairobi Governor Dr Evans Kidero has defended the laxity of the county in cleaning up the city citing corruption as the major challenge.

Kidero said some cartels have lobbied residents and businesses to solicit services from the Private Service Providers (PSP) instead of the contracted franchisees which has portrayed the county as complacent.

"This has led to a huge number of private waste collectors and heavy presence of illegal dumping in Nairobi City. This begs the question as to whether all these actors transport their waste to the final disposal site," said Kidero in a statement.

Kidero said the county has noted that some of illegal dumping is well coordinated and is taking place in the middle of the night: "This can only mean that - corruption is fighting back. We will ensure that we continue to clamp down on these errant actors."

Some of the major affected areas are Mukuru Phase four where it is claimed that there is contention between the residents and the county following truckers dumping solid waste in the area during the El Nino rains to avoid their trucks getting stuck.

This is also the case with Calif Estate in Eastleigh. It is claimed that some cartels do charge up to Sh5, 000 per truck for them dump waste at the designated sites. Normally the county charges Sh2,000 per month for businesses for garbage collection failure to which they will be fined Sh30, 000.

"I have therefore with immediate effect directed my County Executive for Environment to ensure waste and litter is cleared within three days. An enforcement team is also on high alert to arrest and prosecute anyone caught collecting and dumping solid waste illegally," he said.

Garbage has been mounting on streets and estates in unprecedented manner.

Speaking to The Standard, the county executive for Environment Evans Ondieki said the county will be outsourcing from the National Youth Service (NYS) in speeding up the exercise.

To effect this, the county has acquired 150 trucks (40 from NYS) as well as 1,000 NYS youth for the three day exercise. Also, area residents will be recruited from to help in community policing as well as get rid of the cartels.

"In the long term the Nairobi City County government will implement an end to end solution that will see the restoration of collection of solid waste by Nairobi County officers," he added.