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January 16, 2019

Joho blames private waste collectors after cholera, chikungunya outbreaks

A file photo of cows grazing at a dump site in Kongowea's Uwanja wa mbuzi in Nyali constituency, Mombasa county. /John Chesoli
A file photo of cows grazing at a dump site in Kongowea's Uwanja wa mbuzi in Nyali constituency, Mombasa county. /John Chesoli

Mombasa county is blaming private waste collectors for the garbage pileup that has caused deaths after cholera and chikungunya outbreaks.

Environment executive Godfrey Nyongesa on Thursday said these collectors are dumping waste in undesignated grounds.

"Instead of taking waste to designated dumpsites, they empty them in mushrooming illegal collection points," Nyongesa said.

Read" The dirtiest county in Kenya? Mountains of garbage spark cholera outbreaks in Mombasa

These collection points have become breeding grounds for insects that cause diseases like Cholera and Chikungunya.

Last year, two people died from Cholera while 100 cases of Chikungunya were reported.

Some of the residents blame governor Hassan Joho for being unable to tackle the waste threat, five years since taking power.

The county has been feuding with national government whom it is also blaming for frustrating its effort to clean the tourist town.

It says county trucks are being impounded by police.

Nyongesa, in his statement, said they will involve the concerned private collectors "actively in solving this problem".

He said the Mombasa Waste Management Act is going to be enforced with "immediate effect" despite being passed by the county assembly six months ago.

The Act partly warns that "no unlicensed persons shall be allowed to transport waste".

"I, therefore, direct that all persons and entities currently involved in waste collection and transportation to be registered with the department of the environment within seven days beginning today (Thursday)," he said.

Nyongesa said waste generators and property owners must have waste bins on their property, at their premises and estates. Specification for the bins are 39 by 2.5 cubic feet with handles and lids.

"Waste generators should acquire and display the bins within 20 days failure of which the county will take action that may include withdrawal of licences for mercurial entities," he threatened.

County's dumping sites are Kibarani, Mwakirunge and Shonda.

Plans are underway to shut down Kibarani.

Nyongesa said a fine of at least Sh50,000 or an imprisonment term of up to six months shall be imposed on offenders.

Also read: Two firms to help dispose of garbage, as Mombasa is overwhelmed

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