BACKLOG OF WASTE

NMS hires garbage contractors, getting over 200 trucks

Major progress clearing 3,000 tons generated daily, but years of old waste must be removed

In Summary

• NMS has 22 trucks collecting garbage in Nairobi across 85 wards. New contractors will bring more than 200 more trucks. 

• NMS boss Badi said 110 illegal dumpsites identified, 82 cleared and some closed.

Garbage dumped at Pangani Junction in Nairobi.
GARBAGE CITY: Garbage dumped at Pangani Junction in Nairobi.
Image: PATRICK VIDIJA

Garbage collection will improve as new contractors have been hired, bringing about 205 trucks.

Nairobi Metropolitan Services has deployed only 22 trucks across the 17 subcounties. Five more will be delivered.

“The garbage contractors will come with their trucks and eventually we will have 232 trucks," deputy director Maureen Njeri of environment directorate said on Monday.

Procurement has been done and all that remains is issuing letters, she said.

Contractors will pick garbage at gazetted points in all wards. Locations will be announced at a later date.

The number of collection points will depend on population size, hence the amount of garbage.

Last year 83 vehicles were restored for Sh22 million, including 21 garbage trucks that had been grounded for years.

Nairobi's five million residents generate 3,000 tonnes of solid waste daily.

NMS, led by director general Mohammed Badi, has increased collection from 2,000 tons a day to 3,000 tons.

That volume should make the city garbage-free but there's a backlog dating back years.

The 22 trucks collect in all 85 wards and are forced to make more rounds.

"But with additional trucks, all that will be cleared," Njeri said.

In its first 100 days, NMS mapped 110 illegal dumping sites. Eighty-two of them were cleared and some were closed, dealing a blow to garbage collection cartels.

NMS designated 35 new collection points.

“We will unveil the closed illegal dumpsites and share the gazetted collecting point so residents know where garbage needs to be put for collection," she said.

Illegal dumpsites are mainly in Embakasi, Kibera and Lavington.

Embakasi's dumpsite covered 16.2 acres in 2002 and 37.2 acres in 2017, indicating expanding unplanned waste sites. Lavington had  0.62 acres and 1.3 acres, respectively. Kibera had 1.36 acres and 3.39 acres, respectively.

(Edited by V. Graham)