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Firm, council face off over dumpsite

ROUND TABLE
By | October 1st 2009

By Standard Reporter

Mombasa Municipal Council staff and those of a steel engineering company have clashed over garbage site.

Civicon Ltd workers attempted to block the council’s garbage trucks from the unused Kibarani dump site by digging trenches on the road.

There have been conflicting reports from the council over use of the Kibarani dump site, which was ordered closed down a decade ago.

"There is impunity on the side of the council, even after Kibarani area was made an industrial zone. How do industries and other commercial investments in site operate with garbage emitting such stench?" asked Civicon consultant Ted Majaliwa, adding foul smell and smoke from the garbage posed a health risk to staff.

A Kenya Meat Commission plant is near the dump site.

Another group of workers used hose pipes to draw water from the nearby Makupa creek to put out fire from the burning garbage.

However, the council had the last laugh when its hired bulldozers flattened the trenches and allowed two trucks to empty their waste cargo.

Scavengers, who appeared annoyed by the trenches, boarded the two trucks happily as they headed to the dump site.

Majaliwa said workers have complained of sore throats and persistent headaches while on duty.

Scavengers confront

The angry scavengers confronted Civicon staffer Tony Hanegraaf and accused him of championing closure of the dump site.

"We have lived here for long and this dump site is where we get our daily bread," Abdalah Chitayi, a garbage collector said.

Mombasa town clerk Tubmun Otieno last week confirmed that the Kibarani dump site was still being used as a transfer point for garbage, but said there were efforts to establish a safer site.

He said a French donor was assisting in the disposal of the town’s waste, whose collection has now improved.

"With the help of a French organisation disposal will improve soon," he said.

Sources said private developers were eyeing the dump site land, which initially belonged to the council.

Once the dump site is closed, the developers would, reportedly, rehabilitate the land and put up buildings, the source said.

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