Kenya urbanisation an ecological threat

July 20, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 20 – The National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) has said that rapid urbanisation in the country poses the greatest ecological threat.

Director General Muusya Mwinzi said on Monday that despite the growing urbanisation, there were no clear structures to manage the situation.

“What we have not been able to get our act together about, is how to manage our urban centres, waste collection and the sewer system,” he said.

This is despite the presence of water quality and waste management regulations that were enforced in April 2007 by NEMA.

Dr Mwinzi said although the regulations were in place, the challenge was how to tackle waste management in new urban centers because of lack of clear structures.
The regulations control the discharge of effluent into sewer lines and aquatic environment but the sewerage service providers are responsible for ensuring they maintain the set standards.

“Very few towns in this country have sewer systems apart from Nairobi and Mombasa on the island covering just about 30 percent of the population. Even one wonders where all that waste goes to,” Dr Mwinzi said.

He further told Capital News that industrial pollution was not a major threat because of the country’s low industrialisation.

He said Kenyans ought to be sensitive on environmental issues and participate in conservation measures.

“It’s like Kenyans have resigned to this state of living in filthy areas and when somebody starts to clean up like the Nairobi River, you find people want to make fun. People are sceptical because we are used to living in filth,” he said.

“Let Kenyans be proactive also and each do what they can,” he added.

The waste management regulations were to streamline the handling, transportation and disposal of various types of waste with emphasis on waste minimisation and clean production.

Under the regulations, waste had been classified and disposal methods for each waste type specified.


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