Kisumu’s infamous “hill” of shame - Kachok dumpsite - has finally been flattened after 44 years of existence.
The garbage heap, that sat on 6.7 acres of land and rose to about 10 metres was an eyesore and health hazard to residents.
This is one of the projects, Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o had prioritised when he took power in 2017.
During former Governor Jack Ranguma’s tenure the dumpsite was nicknamed “Got Ranguma.”
The county government has decommissioned the dumpsite and plans are now underway to turn the land into a green space with a luxuriant indigenous botanical garden and a family recreational park, complete with a public swimming pool and other public amenities.
Yet to secure land
County communication director Aloice Ager yesterday said the Kisumu Urban Project will rehabilitate Kachok dumpsite into a recreational park at a cost of Sh130 million.
Part of the 6.7 acre land reclaimed in the first relocation phase is already home to a thriving botanical park.
“Currently, landscaping is ongoing and soon works to establish a recreational park with comprehensive amenities will begin,” he said.
However, the county is yet to secure land for a new dumpsite.
“We are currently managing waste at source. We are sorting at the collection points and the non-degradable waste like the plastics are being taken to factories for recycling.
“There are investors who have put up biodigesters in the city and are turning degradable waste into energy for markets like Kibuye,” he explained.
Ager said emergence of illegal dumpsites has been a challenge and efforts are underway to clear them.
He revealed that plans for the new waste to energy centre were at an advanced stage.
Prof Nyong’o weathered political and legal battles that dogged relocation of Kackok dumpsite after the county received funds in 2012.
Previous efforts to clear the dumpsite suffered setbacks after residents opposed plans to relocate it to their backyards.
Petitioners accused the county of awarding the tender without carrying out environmental impact assessment. Kisumu East MP Shakeel Shabbir also led onslaughts against the project.
This was after Nyong’o secured Sh4 billion grant from the French Development Agency (AFD) for infrastructural development and relocation of the dumpsite.
Sh99 million of the funds given under strict five-year implementation timelines, was meant to remove the eyesore.
The governor’s predecessor Mr Ranguma tried in vain to secure land for relocation of Kachok. Nyong’o secured abandoned quarries and moved garbage after Justice Stephen Kibunjia declined to grant prayers seeking to stop the relocation.
Sandwiched between a mall and stadium, and just 2km from the central business district, Kachok dumpsite was an eyesore.
The unplanned dumpsite grew after locals around present day Kibuye Market rejected establishment of the same in the area.
When defunct Kisumu Municipal Council woke up to the reality of the eyesore in 1990s it formalised the dumpsite and posted employees in desperate efforts to control it, albeit with little regulation.
The growing mountain of filth continued to choke investments, denying the stadium opportunity to host Cecafa Senior challenge cup in 2013 and 2017.
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