City Hall’s plan to set up a Sh28 billion power plant at the Dandora dumpsite could soon be revived after the county finally acquired a title for the land.
A German investor — Sustainable Environment Management UG — withdrew from the project in 2016 for lack of a title for the 30-acre wasteyard.
This was revealed by Auditor General Edward Ouko in his 2014-15 audit report. Ouko said the investor had asked the county to provide the title before it invests in the project.
The firm was to eliminate the need to relocate the dumpsite by investing in renewable energy using the waste as the raw material to produce as much as 160MW of power daily.
The waste is used to generate methane gas in a renewable cycle.
The firm had been contracted by former Governor Evans Kidero’s administration, through a public-private partnership, to mange the waste after several attempts to relocate the site failed.The county’s only legal dumpsite was declared full in 1996, but still continues to receive waste from across the city after several attempts to relocate it to Ruai failed.
But appearing before the parliamentary Public Accounts Committee on Monday, acting Environment chief officer Isaac Muraya said the county has already obtained the title and the project will soon be revived. He said said the deed was with acting county secretary Leboo Morintat.
“The chief valuer has informed me that the title deed for the dumpsite is available, and, consequently, we have prepared an expression of interest document for the deal,” Muraya said.
He said the lack of the document caused the delays in the implementation of the multi-billion shilling venture, meaning recyclers can now express interest in the county’s bid to rid the city of waste.
The committee, chaired by Mabatini MCA Wilfred Odalo, questioned hwhy the county lacked the title for the land, yet the dumpsite has been in existence for more than 30 years.
The panel also questioned why it had taken so long for the county to relocate the site to Ruai. Muraya said the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority had contested the move, arguing it is close to JKIA and that birds attracted to the site would interfere with flights.
Reports indicate about 2,400 tonnes of solid waste is generated daily in the city, but only about 1,500 tonnes is collected and deposited in Dandora.
The auditor’s report also raised issues over the manner in which the Dandora dumpsite is managed, citing lack of standby power backup in case of blackouts and lack of protective gear for the workers.
The report also stated most of the equipment used at the site stalled many years ago. Muraya, however, said the equipment, including tractors, excavators and bulldozers, has not been repaired because it was too expensive. He said the county has already acquired a bulldozer and a sub-compact tractor, and repaired roads to the site.