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ELECTION 2022

Nakuru turns road into dumpsite

ROUND TABLE
By | Oct 30th 2010 | 3 min read

By Alex Kiprotich

The trees lining the Eldama Ravine-Nakuru road from Kabarak University welcomes a visitor to Nakuru town.

The trees sanitise the wind blowing from the nearby Menengai, making the air fresh and enjoyable.

A tractor and a lorry offload garbage on Nakuru-Kabarak road after Gioto dumpsite was filled up.

[PHOTO: VINCENT MABATUK/STANDARD]

But as you approach town in Olive, this aura gives way to another spectacle—just three kilometres to the fastest growing town.

The air is pungent and it does not take long before a visitor comes face to face with a shocking sight. Gioto dumpsite.

Scavenging children

An acrid smell assaults your nostrils. Mountains of rubbish consisting of rotten food, shards of broken glass, as well and plastic material is threatening to blockone lane of the road.

It is a rather disturbing sight but garbage trucks arrive without a care in the world to dump the wastes, which spill over to the road.

"This sight is shameful and an indictment to the people who manage waste disposal. How do you allow such a thing to happen?" asked Mr Peter Njoro, a driver.

Njoro, a matatu driver plying Nakuru-Kiamunyi route, says the stench is so powerful and the vehicle will still be smelly hours later. Mr John Kimutai says if he had an option, he would avoid using the road until the municipal council sorts out the mess.

"If you pass here, you smell like a garbage truck fell on you," he says.

He adds: "The stench is potent and literally takes away your breath."

But the people scrounging in the garbage for food and plastics, which they sell, are least bothered by it.

Every time a garbage truck approaches, women, men, boys, and girls run to welcome the arriving garbage.

The boys cling onto the sides of the tipping truck to grab the best morsels of food. Old men, women, and children are left with rotting scraps. "Sisi tuko poa. Hatuna shida na harufu."(We are okay and we have no problem with the stench), said one boy as he climbed onto a truck to scavenge.

Polluted Environment

The group of boys spend the day at the dumpsite collecting plastics, which they sell to factories in Nakuru for recycling.

Pupils and teachers from AIC Nakuru Academy are the biggest sufferers besides the motorists."Our pleas to Nakuru Municipal Council to have the dump site relocated has not been heeded," saysDavid Muli the headteacher.

The pupils of the school located only 100m have had to persevere and take their lessons in the polluted environment.

Muli says things are worse since the trucks started dumping the waste by the roadside.

"Children are exposed to dangers of being pricked by needles, and they come across things not good for their up bringing. Sometimes stumble upon bodies," he says.

Sammy Ngige, the director of environment in Nakuru Municipal, said there is nothing they can do with the situation he calls an ‘emergency’.

"There is nothing we can do for now," he said. He said there are plans to relocate the dumpsite to Delamere Farm.

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