Nakuru residents raise concerns over poor waste disposal

A cloud of smoke in London, Nakuru City on February 3, 2022, following the burning of solid waste at Gioto dumpsite. [Kennedy Gachuhi, Standard]

Environmental activists in Nakuru have raised concerns over the disposal and mismanagement of waste at Gioto dumping site.

The activists said that despite the dumpsite having been declared illegal in 2018, the dumping and burning of waste is a health threat to the communities living around it.
In letters seen by The Standard written to the county government of Nakuru, the National Environmental and Management Authority, county executive for water environment and Natural resources, environmental activists demanded to know the legality of the dumping site. 

"The residents of London Ward have raised serious environmental concerns over the Gioto Dumpsite within their community which has been operational for several years was in a bad state and condemned," reads the letter in part.

Under EcoRethink, an environmental organisation based in Nakuru, the activists said the current situation at Gioto Dumpsite was dire.

"In this matter and in the defence of Public interest and the environment, we request your office to provide us with certified copies of the Environmental Impact Assessment and the Environmental Impact Assessment License authorising dumping and burning of waste within the Gioto Dumpsite," James Wakibia, an environmental activist said.

In 2018, a High Court in Nakuru declared that the County was operating on Gioto dumping site against the law.

The judgement by the court declared that the manner in which Gioto dumping site is operated by the County government violated the rights of people to clean and healthy environment.

The declaration by the court in 2018 was made by the Environment and Lands Court judge Justice Dalmas Ohungo after two people living within the area moved to court and petitioned the Municipal Council of Nakuru, the National Environment Management Authority and the County Government.

Recently, residents have raised issues over what they term as failure to control and burning of the waste which has, in turn, resulted in billows of smoke blanketing the surrounding areas.

Wakibia said that while the County government and the National Environmental and Management Authority, have a responsibility of establishing and maintaining disposal of refuse for purposes of ensuring a clean and healthy environment, there were serious concerns over the use of a condemned dumping site.  

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