NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 28 – Cabinet Secretary for Forestry and Environment Keriako Tobiko has challenged Nairobi County Government to take up the initiative of cleaning the city as it solely their mandate.
Speaking on Saturday after officiating a tree planting exercise at Michuki Park located alongside Nairobi River, the CS said it was disappointing that a lot of counties are faced with poor garbage management, but instead have resulted to engaging in blame games.
“The constitution is very clear, it devolves responsibilities of environment, waste management, water and sanitation and pollution to the County governments. So it is your responsibility for the same in Nairobi County as it is in other counties,” Tobiko said.
The CS further urged Kenyans to continue with the tree planting exercise with his ministry having launched a countrywide tree planting campaign in March this year.
According to the 2015 National Forest Policy, the current forest cover in Kenya is 6.99 per cent, which is below the requirement of 10 per cent.
Tobiko also confirmed that plans to increase the forest cover in the country to 10 per cent before 2022 were well on course with President Uhuru Kenyatta set to lead the country in tree planting exercise during the national tree planting day.
“The President will lead the event in tree planting in the national and county levels. The target is that on that day 25 million seedlings to be planted on that day co currently in all parts of the country. A date has been proposed but we ask interested stakeholders and corporate bodies to come forward and participate in provision of these seedlings,” he said.
However, Nairobi County authorities defended themselves on the current environmental condition in the city and said that they are working on long-term measures to ensure the city gets rid of the garbage menace that has for long become an eyesore to the residents.
Speaking to Capital FM News, Nairobi County Environmental CEC Larry Wambua confirmed that the county is set to commission a garbage recycling plant in Dandora later this year as a garbage control measure.
“About Dandora dumpsite we are aware of the situation and we are also aware of waste recycling programs worldwide. We cannot keep piling this garbage we will run out of space. Therefore, we have plans by September we shall have a recycling plant in that area, it will take three years to build but it is a step in the right direction,” he said.
The CEC further noted that the city environment was in a mess and not even the 24-hour garbage collection exercise was yielding fruit.
However, he placed the blame on the previous city administration and said the county is left to operate with only 40 garbage collection trucks with most of the trucks having had been grounded and some repossessed.
“We are finding ourselves in a historical whole. In the 90s we had 250 garbage collection trucks and Nairobi has grown since then. Currently we are operating on forty trucks but we are trying to ensure that all estates with the city are well served,” Wambua said.