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Sh6m fence put up as Kisumu’s dumpsite project stalls

ENVIRONMENT
By Kepher otieno | August 17th 2016
The Kachok dumpsite that has been an eyesore for over 50 years is now being fenced by the county government. The relocation project has been a source of controversy between the county government and local leaders. [PHOTO: COLLINS ODUOR/STANDARD]

The county government is now putting up a Sh6 million perimeter fence to secure the controversial Kachok garbage dumpsite.

Yesterday, Environment Executive Barack Abonyo said the county was erecting the high wall to conceal the rising mounds of garbage from the public.

The wall sends a clear signal that the much-publicised relocation of the dumpsite may not happen anytime soon.

The Kachok dumpsite has been an environmental concern because of its foul smell. Many residents have accused the county government of constantly giving false promises about its relocation.

Children at the Lutheran School for the Disabled and workers at the Nakumatt Mall have had to contend with the choking stanch from the site.

“We want this (the wall) to be a temporary measure because plans to relocate the dumpsite hit a snag after Muhoroni residents rejected a proposal to have the site in their area,” said Prof Abonyo.

The county government had acquired 50 acres in Kibigori, Muhoroni constituency, at a cost of Sh50 million.

WATER SOURCES

But the Muhoroni residents were apprehensive that the Environmental Impact Assessment and the effects on the area’s water sources had not been effectively considered by the county authorities.

Led by former Cabinet minister Onyango Midika, the  residents rejected the dumpsite project and even claimed that it would trigger “an ecological disaster”.

They said that despite the potential environmental hazards, there had been no public participation to enable the county administration and local residents reach a consensus.

They claimed the dumpsite could pose a major environmental threat to water resources and cause other forms of pollution, which would render the environment unfit for them.

The dumpsite has attracted hordes of criminals who last month killed a county truck driver as he dumped garbage.

Abonyo said they were planning to make methane after fencing the site.

“This is not a permanent solution. We are just thinking of a temporary solution because it was giving us a bad image in the face of the ongoing Kisumu beautification plan,” Abonyo said.

MAKE BIOGAS

The county government, he disclosed, plans to turn the garbage into methane that will be packaged and sold.

“We are also talking with some donors to recycle the refuse so that it does not go to waste,” said Abonyo.

He claimed some investors were planning to make biogas from the waste produce, adding that they would charge factories and companies that dispose of waste at the dumpsite.

“We will charge a lorry load of garbage at least Sh500. Initially, they were charged Sh300 but that will be reviewed upwards,” said the environment boss.

Over the last five years, the county authority has been struggling with effectively handling refuse collection.

It is because of these challenges that Abonyo said they had resolved to fence the dumpsite because some residents had become notorious for dumping waste recklessly around the Nakumatt shopping mall.

Shoppers had also complained of a nauseating and choking smell that discouraged them from visiting the area.

Birds preying on the rubbish had also become an eyesore to first-time visitors to the town.

However, Abonyo argued that the Sh6 million allocated for the perimeter wall was not enough. He said the county authorities would review the cost alongside charges per lorry load of waste in a bid to boost revenue collection from the site.

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