NAIROBI, September 21 – City Hall and the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) are working to involve residents in cleaning up Nairobi City, once a month.
Mayor Godfrey Majiwa revealed on Saturday that the Nairobi City Council (NCC) would be introducing a new by-law, setting aside one day every month for residents to take part in a communal clean-up exercise.
Majiwa said that the proposed ‘eco-day’, similar to Rwanda’s omuganda, would make Nairobi’s populace more responsible in disposing waste and more conscious of ensuring the city is clean.
“You will ensure that your environment is clean, because you are the one doing the cleaning. But if it’s not your responsibility to come out and clean, it won’t be your business,” the Mayor argued.
He made the remarks during a clean-up exercise in the capital city to mark the Clean The World Day, and observed that the eco-day has been successful in Rwanda.
Majiwa complained that the council’s efforts to clean up the city had been frustrated by irresponsible residents, who constantly litter.
“Our responsibility is to remind you that it is your duty as a resident of the city to maintain cleanliness. Do not leave it to us; we must do it together,” he encouraged.
“You need to change your waste disposal methods and stop blaming the council for the filth in the city,” Majiwa added, revealing that the NCC cannot access an estimated 4.4 million tonnes of solid waste due to ill-planned buildings that block access routes.
Also present, NEMA Director General Muusya Mwinzi reaffirmed that they would soon be releasing waste management guidelines requiring all city residents to sort out their solid waste before disposing of it.
“We want to put in place guidelines that will ensure that the generator of solid waste, be it industrial or household waste, dispose of it properly. We will be asking you to sort out or segregate the waste,” he said.
Mwinzi and Majiwa reported that the NCC had already secured a 200-acre plot in Ruai, where a new waste management plant would be placed, including a land-fill and an incinerator.
Transfer stations would be set up at each corner of the city where waste would be sorted before being taken to the plant.
The first station will be on a 21-acre piece of land in Kariobangi South.
“We want to plant a shed there where our youth will be engaged in the sifting process. In this way we can give hope and sustainable livelihoods to our youths,” Mwinzi observed.
He said they are already working with a number of major supermarkets to ensure separate litter bins are erected outside the stores to demonstrate how the new guidelines would work.