Nakuru county seeks foreign partnership to resolve garbage menace

KENYA –  The county government of Nakuru is seeking to partner with Austrian firm, Komptech to manage solid waste at dumpsites across the county and turn it into useful byproducts such as organic fertilizers.

The move was announced by Dr. Nelson Maara, the County Executive Committee Member (CECM) in charge of Water, Environment, Energy, Natural Resources and Climate Change asserting that the county government is committed to resolving the garbage problem afflicting the residents.

According to him, other materials like glass, paper, plastic and metals will be recycled if a deal is reached between the devolved unit and an Austrian firm, Komptech.

During a meeting with the Komptech firm’s Chief Executive Mr. Markus Maierhofer at the county headquarters, the CECM noted that the county stands to increase its revenue base and create more jobs besides improving health and sanitation to millions of residents once the deal is sealed.

Maara disclosed that the county government had commenced talks with the investor, but added they were yet to settle on the cost of the project and assured residents that all solid waste would be transformed into useful items including organic fertilizers.

Dr. Nelson said the county will continue facilitating the formation of solid waste management associations which comprise private waste service actors to enable them effectively manage waste at the site.

He expressed regret that rapid urbanization, improved economic situation and industrialization had transformed solid waste management into one of the greatest challenges facing major urban centers in Kenya.

Maara however, underscored the need for placing a special emphasis on the potential of conversion of waste into organic fertilizer to bring positive change and wealth into communities.

“We need innovative technologies and approaches that change the way we think about, use and treat solid, liquid, domestic, industrial and commercial waste,” he said.

“Nakuru needs to explore the 5Rs of rethinking, refusing, reducing, reusing and recycling to transform waste to wealth.”

The move comes at a time when an average of 45 percent of waste goes uncollected in Nakuru, according to an official report by the National Environmental Complaints Committee.

According to the report, Nakuru city generates an estimated 6,000 tonnes of waste daily. Only 3,962 tonnes are collected while more than 2,000 tonnes remain uncollected.

The report also found that eighty-five percent of waste generated in urban centers in Nakuru originates from homes.

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