Nyambera dump site's battle for survival


A garbage man and a marabou storks scavenge at Nyambera dumping site in the outskirts of Kisii Town. [Sammy Omingo, Standard]

At Kisii’s Nyambera dumping site, there is a constant battle for survival. Street families have to battle it out with marabou storks for food.

The birds scavenge aggressively, often denying the families their daily bread.  Thanks to drought and hunger that has put bravery in the once upon a time shy birds that today mingle freely with human beings at the site, all with a common goal looking for food to sustain their life.

The birds are said to have mastered different types of sounds including those of tractors ferrying garbage and those of people working in the site.

With sword-sized beaks the birds slice through the waste. [Sammy Omingo, Standard]

With sword-sized beaks, they glide effortlessly through the air, confidently showing off their ugly look.

Few people, even keen bird watchers, are attracted to their white and black jacket, but many wish they could be kicked out of their habitat.

An international journal published by Kisii University last year raised a red flag on continued dumping of waste at the dump site.

The journal, published by the university’s Department of Research and Extension, indicates that due to an inadequate waste disposal system, pollution of land, water and air has steadily increased.

The birds gather for an assembly and strategise. [Sammy Omingo, Standard]

The research published by Evans Okemwa, Obed Mainya Nyabaro, John Lusweti Kituy and Peter Kinyanjui cites high presence of lead, copper, cadmium and zinc in water, air, and on land.

They said the fact that River Nyakomisaro flows adjacent to the dumpsite, some lead was deposited at the banks when it was flooded, hence raising the concentrations in the river.

The birds are bold to demand their space and share. [Sammy Omingo, Standard]

Despite these dangers, the street families and the birds have per harps came to a mutual agreement to co-exist and share whatever little.

The birds then march forward in pairs ready for the day's share. [Sammy Omingo, Standard]
Whoever moves with speed, gets the lion share. [Sammy Omingo, Standard]

Photos by Sammy Omingo.