Uncollected garbage is choking our major Towns with Nairobi and Mombasa bearing the heaviest brunt. And recently, Nema took Mr. Tubman Otieno- the Town Clerk in Mombasa to Court on account of uncollected garbage.
They have also taken Mr. Phillip Kisia to Court on the same charges.
If you travel along Juja Road, Jogoo Road, Donholm Area and many other places in Nairobi, you would think twice about how we handle our garbage. Mombasa has been in the news very much in the recent times and I want to believe it is time we addressed this issue more clearly.
In the last one year, we have really focused on the garbage in our Towns. We have pointed this out, mobilized willing Kenyans to step in and help and we have received very positive and passionate support from the various Town Clerks and their Councils. We do not expect the Town Clerks to walk out all the times to phyisically join in cleaning out towns.
We have seen Mr. Kisia and Mr. Otieno in the trenches actually cleaning. We have been joined by several other Town Clerks in the trenches and their desire is that they preside over clean Towns.
In the course of doing this, we have also realized that our Councils cannot do it by themselves. The City Council of Nairobi has 600 employees in the Environment Department and 5 trucks to cart away the 2,000 tonnes of waste the 4 million residents generate. The Council has no shovel, no loaders and no compactors, yet, we expect the Council to deliver.
The Municipal Council of Mombasa has 400 employees in their Environment Department and they have 5 trucks while the 1,5 million residents generate 1,000 tonnes of waste per day.They have 3 shovels, 2 loaders, 2 compactors and this is definitely not adequate to serve the residents. Yet, Mombasa is the gateway to Kenya besides being our major Tourists destination.
The Country has no known Solid Waste Management Policy to address this mess and what we call dump sites are theatres for massive corruption powered by people who work and serve in Government. These are people who thrive in this mess that they create. They have never been happy whenever this problem gets attention.
Do we all remember how Councilors and Government employees fought for cuts when Jacorozzi wanted to step in to manage waste in Mombasa? Do you remember how this same cartel fights at the mere mention of Dandoara Dump Site being relocated?
Yet, Nema, is proving incapable of seeing and identifying these underlying issues without which our Towns will never be clean.
We must not have dump sites. We need to have Waste Recycling Plants across the 47 Counties in Kenya. And this must be the focus of Nema. They must fight to enable the commissioning of such plants. Nema must fight to brake the cartels that control the waste industry, the people who thrive on our dirt.
Besides creating massive employments for our people, these Waste Recycling Plants will help address the rampant polythene menage. Nema made a knee jack attempt at banning production of polythene production and as soon as they made that pronouncement, they rescinded the same. What happened? Were they compromised into silence?
We cannot address the issue of garbage menace when we have no fire in the belly, or, when you make pronouncements that elicit favours from the cartels. You prompted get compromised into silence and they you pour your incompetence on someone who has no where-withal to accomplish the work for which you are blaming him.
I want to believe that Nema should also in the same breath be vigorous in pursuing residents who dump their garbage by the road side. Which law allows residents to dump by the road side their household waste? These people should be arrested and charged accordingly.
If we are to have a clean country, we must give our various Town Clerks the tools of trade, empower them and wait for results. If they fail to deliver, we should sack them and surcharge them accordingly.
We are launching the 2nd Circle of The Monthly Nationwide Clean-up Campaign on the 22nd October 2011 at Huruma Estate in Nairobi, and we are extending an invitation to Nema to climb down and join us in this campaign. This is our country and it pays not to claim the moral high ground on empty template.
We took note that in as much as Nema claims the moral high ground on environmental matters, their absence in the Clean-up Campaign has been soundly telling. We are hence appealing to Nema to stop the blame game. Let us join hands and sort this mess.
We at KCDN firmly believe that we the People of Kenya can help Clean Kenya.
This is a campaign for Kenya by Kenyans. Let us make it a huge success......
If it is to be, it is up to me. A Clean Kenya Starts With me. A Peaceful Kenya is my Responsibility.
Disclaimer; The Monthly Nationwide Clean-up Campaign is about us Kenyans. It involves all Kenyans from the various regions, religious persuasions, political thinking and we do not discriminate against any Kenyans nor any region.
National Coordinator- Friends of KNH Maternity Unit