Kisumu County Government has embarked on the second phase of decommissioning the Kachok dumpsite. which has been at the centre of unending controversies.
The parcel of land where it sits has been the subject of a protracted legal tussle that has dragged on at the courts for more than 10 years.
Last week, the county secretary Godfrey Kigochi advertised tenders for the decommissioning of the dumpsite, with interested bidders expected to submit bids by January 28.
It is not the first time the county government is dedicating funds to the project. A similar exercise was done in 2019, which led to the creation of a botanical garden in a reclaimed part of the dumpsite.
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A senior official who sought anonymity said the process is aimed at ensuring the dumpsite is closed before the Africities Summit scheduled for November in Kisumu.
“It has not been easy to completely eradicate the dumpsite because of lack of an alternative site to dump the more than 400 tonnes of waste produced in Kisumu on a daily basis,” said the official.
Although millions of shillings have been spent by the county government on the project, Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o’s administration is, however, downplaying the cost implications of the latest plan to decommission the dumpsite.
Yesterday, Environment Executive Salmon Orimba told The Standard the exercise will cost about Sh8 million.
“We are not spending a lot of money on it, but we are planning to implement several other activities including generating fertilisers from the waste,” said Orimba.
He noted the county government was building an alternative site in Muhoroni.
Questions, however, remain on whether the new plan will succeed after past attempts flopped.
The dumpsite is an eyesore and it also poses a health risk to traders at a nearby market.
“The smell coming from the piling garbage is a recipe for diseases. The flies are also a nuisance,” said Eunice Okello, a cereals vendor at the market.
Joseph Nyanchama, a wholesale tomato supplier at the market, said the dumpsite also presents a security risk for traders.
“It is unfortunate that several years down the line, we are still having a huge dumpsite within the city and next to a stadium,” he said.
Since 2013, the county government has made several attempts to relocate the dumpsite with minimal success. In 2019, the county spent Sh210 million. Part of this cash was donated by the French government.
Its removal was a key campaign tool for Governor Nyong’o and with the clock ticking towards the 2022 election, he is under pressure to complete what he started.