HEALTH RISKS: Solid waste disposal operations at the existing disposal site at Ngong dumpsite set to cease
BY PAUL BIRISHA
Politician Sankok Teeka is claiming Governor Joseph Lenku is planning to secretly move Ngong dumpsite to Keek-Onyokie’s Vet Farmland in Kajiado North.
Speaking to KNU, in a candid interview Teeka who has also declared he will be in the race for Kajiado governor seat in 2022, claimed Lenku have no other choices but “grab our land” for the proposed dump site.
He spoke on Friday, June 5, when the politician said: “No amount of intimidation from Lenku will cow our Keek-Onyokie people. That is our ancestral land and has no room for negotiation.”
Teeka further claimed the county government leadership is; “Also planning to sub-divide Mathare slums in Ngong town between their politically-correct individuals and their family members.”
“This is land-grabbing and the people of Mathare should be ready for worse as plans are in advanced stages. I will stand by our Keek-Onyokie and Ngong people to oppose Lenku’s plans,” plans.
He told Lenku to look for vacant plots elsewhere other than Keek-Onyokie land.
Seek New Technology
“What Lenku should look for are ways to use technology to recycle the waste in all county dumpsites. We have no space left that can be dished to the government,” said Teeka.
But in a quick rejoinder, County Environment Chief Officer, James Sankale claimed Teeka is “mistaken” because the land in question which he purports to defend was long allocated to Olkejuado County Council in 2007.
“The council had all the legal documents for 20 acres of land that was allocated for purposes of building a new dumping site. That land was later transferred to the county government under the devolved system,” said Sankale.
Sankale clarified that the existing dumpsite at Ngong is going to be decommissioned, rehabilitated and modernised.
He said the Italian government is funding the modernisation of the new site at a cost of Sh2.1 billion to the international standards.
“We have such modernised dumpsite only in Durban, South Africa. We are telling politician like Teeka not to mix development and politics because it is like mixing water and oil, they will never rhyme,” he said.
But Teeka insisted the 20 acres hived out from the Vet Farm in Ngong was illegally acquired by Olkejuado County Council without the involvement of the community that donated the land for research during the colonial era.
In May the county announced that Ngong residents will soon breathe a sigh of relief after the closure of its foul-smelling dumpsite.
The overflowing dumpster has for years caused air and water pollution, posing health risks to residents.
The foul smell emitted from the dumpster has been causing interruption of education in schools around it.
A human informal settlement that sprouted near it has also been accused of heightened insecurity in Ngong.
The progressive closure plan has been occasioned by a study commissioned by the government, UN-Habitat and the county government.
The study identified the challenges of solid waste disposal for the county as a priority problem and through the national treasury requested the Italian government to finance the establishment of a waste energy plant.
The three-pronged waste management programme, according to the Chief Officer in charge of the Environment, Sankale, involves decommissioning and rehabilitation of the Ngong dumpsite, creation of a transition facility, and commissioning of an integrated waste management plant.
Sankale said a delay in funding the project has slowed down the process, which has prompted the county government to source for funds to commence the process of decommissioning the dumpsite.
A notice directing individuals encroaching on lagoon areas and riparian reserves to vacate within 14 days was issued then.
The proposed project will include operational equipment to cost-effectively spread, grade and cover solid wastes received by the landfill.
This means, according to Sankale, solid waste disposal operations at the existing disposal site at Ngong dumpsite will cease.
“The Ngong dumpsite has major negative environmental impacts on the local environment as a result of uncontrolled and open dumping. These environmental impacts make it necessary to decommission the dumpsite,” said Sankale.
The CO urged members of the public to review the environment and social impact assessment study report available for download on the NEMA website and present their input within the allocated timeframe.
Sankale said lack of drainage ditches, poor management, lack of effective implementation of relevant solid waste management regulations and land-use conflicts are some of the major challenges facing the dumpsite.
Others, he said, are poor geographical location affecting Ngong town, an ineffective recycling process at the site, waste scavenging, and inadequate disposal facilities.