ADVANCED STAGE

We're ready to quicken Dandora recycling plant — Nema

It will help the country transition from a linear waste management model to a circular approach

In Summary

•The Kenya Electricity Generating Company will finance, develop, and operate the power plant while the Nairobi Metropolitan Services will avail land for that purpose.

•Energy will be generated from the huge heap of waste at the dumpsite.

Nairobi county government officials walk into Dandora dumpsite after the launch of a cleanup with NYS in December last year. Image: FILE
Nairobi county government officials walk into Dandora dumpsite after the launch of a cleanup with NYS in December last year. Image: FILE

The National Environment Management Authority has said it is ready to quicken the setting up of an energy plant to recycle waste at Dandora dumpsite.

Nema director general Mamo Mamo last week said the plant will help the country transition from a linear waste management model to a circular approach.

“We need to transform Dandora from waste to energy,” Mamo said.

The Kenya Electricity Generating Company will finance, develop, and operate the power plant while the Nairobi Metropolitan Services will avail land for that purpose.

Energy will be generated from the huge heap of waste at the dumpsite.

Mamo said the process was at an advanced stage.

“Nema will promote waste to energy approach and support especially in issues to do with environmental and social impact issues,” Mamo said.

The DG said once that legal requirement is done, the authority will fast track the process to ensure the project is in place.

The Sh28 billion Dandora waste-to-energy recycling plant was supposed to produce 160MW per day.

The construction of the plant comes against the backdrop of a court order in July that urged NMS to relocate the Dandora dumpsite within six months.

The order was given by Environment and Land Court Judge Kossy Bor who said NMS should establish a new environmental-friendly dumpsite within the given timelines.

Isaiah Odando and Wilson Yatta sued on behalf of the Ufanisi Centre in Korogocho.

They said the Dandora dumpsite is filled with smoke from burning plastic waste that releases toxic and carcinogenic gases into the atmosphere

They had sued NMS, Nema, Environment CS and Nairobi, Machakos, Kiambu, Kilifi, Makueni and Tana River counties.

The petitioners accused NMS and Nema of violating their rights and also sought orders to stop pollution of the Nairobi and Athi rivers.

“NMS is directed to take steps to decommission the Dandora dumpsite and relocate it to another site within six months of the date of this judgment,” the court ordered.

NMS has been directed to take all practical steps to ensure the waste in the dumpsite is managed in a way to protect human health and the environment against adverse effects of the waste.

The national government has already drafted a National Sustainable Waste Management Bill, 2018.

The bill which is in National Assembly if passed will cut down waste by 95 per cent. 

Those found polluting could be fined up to Sh4 million or spend a maximum of four years in jail if the waste management policy is adopted. 

There is a new policy on waste management.

Under the policy that has been approved by the cabinet, waste will be segregated at source before service providers move them to materials recovery facilities.

At the recovery facilities, sorting, selling and treatment is done.

Five per cent of the waste will be incinerated, 30 per cent recycled, while 60 per cent will be turned into manure. Only five per cent will go to landfills. 

Currently, waste generated goes directly to the dumpsite, a move that has created massive dumpsite across the country. 

A study by JICA from 1996 to 1998 on solid waste management in Nairobi showed that the total amount of waste disposed of was approximately 3,500,000kgs while the landfill volume is estimated to be around 1.8 million m3.

The amount in 2009 was 220,000 tonnes.

The report said since the Dandora is an open dumping site and landfill management is not adequately conducted, negative impacts on the local environment were common.

Such included health risks to the residents due to the littering of waste and the generation of odour and landfill gas.

Nairobi generates about 3,000 tonnes of waste daily, according to the Nairobi County Sustainable Waste Management Plan.

Uncollected solid waste accounts for 774 tonnes per day, while private recycling companies handle 654 tonnes daily.

Edited by Kiilu Damaris