Nairobi County unveils long-term vision for drainage and garbage management

Governor Johnson Sakaja interacts with newly-hired sanitation after he unveiled Nairobi's preparedness plan ahead of the El Nino rains. [Denish Ochieng, Standard]

Nairobi County has embarked on a long-term vision to transform the city’s drainage and garbage management systems, as it prepares for the El Nino rains.

The county has deployed 3,500 youth to clear the drainage system and unclog the garbage in the city, which has over 6 million residents.

Brian Mulama, County Executive Committee member for Mobility and Works, said in an interview on Spice FM on Tuesday, October 17, that the ongoing drainage clearing is a temporary solution to beat the time frame for El Nino rains, but the county has a bigger plan for the future.

“This is going to be a continuous program that will really help transform Nairobi after El Nino ends. It’s just a matter of budget, but I know in our next financial year we’ll be setting aside a good budget for a proper drainage system and water supply,” Mulama said.

He added that the county came up with the initiative after benchmarking in Paris, New York, and Johannesburg.

He also said that the recently deployed workers are also involved in sensitizing residents on environment conservation and waste management.

However, the city still faces challenges of poor drainage systems and waste disposal, which are exacerbated by illegal structures and vandalism.

 Mulama urged people living on parallel lines to vacate before the rains escalate, noting that the county has prepared facilities where they will evacuate the affected individuals during the rains.

“The kiosks that are on the drainage system and business premises end up causing blockage on the system,” Mulama said.

 “So the only challenge that we are having is that you clear the garbage today and wake up tomorrow to find it back.”

He hinted at a plan that the county has to take legal action against people disposing of waste inappropriately.

“There’s that mentality within Kenyans that they can throw garbage anywhere. Maybe we’ll fix like five to ten people and they will pay heavy fines,” he said.

He believes that garbage collection is a collective responsibility and has appealed to those prone to vandalizing garbage collection points to stop hindering the process of having a clean city.

He said that the county boss Johnson Sakaja is committed to ensuring that Nairobi becomes a model city in Africa.