By Calvin Onyango
Dandora estate has had its fair share of the problems with rubbish everywhere due to its proximity to the dumpsite. The residences of Dandora have been short changed by those who are tasked to collect the rubbish and dispose of it at the dumpsite. Inside the dumpsite, lorries can be seen empting anywhere they have found a space. The youth groups found in Dandora have ventured to garbage collection due to the gap left by the Nairobi City County. The community had proper management systems in the early eighties but when corruption took its toll, everything changed to the worst. Since then, nothing has been done to at least change the situation. There are few individuals and institutions that have either neglected their mandate or they are overwhelmed by what they are supposed to do. If you walk around Dandora, you can see how waste management has turned to be a problem to an extent of the residents taking it like it is a normal thing to live with waste near them.
In most cases you will find a place written “No dumping here” is where you will get a lot of waste. Most of the garbage has been thrown on the road sides and some outside schools. This is risky because of the health of the children studying in the school. One of the garbage collectors told me some of the challenges they go through are traumatizing. He says that collecting garbage has been an issue because some people are very heartless. In the process of separating plastics from the rest of the litters, you will find new born babies thrown in the garbage. They are also exposed to diseases and are sometimes in contact with bio-hazardous waste.
While the CoK 2010 states that; Everyone has a right to clean and healthy environment, that right is being denied and violated as residents of Kariobangi and Dandora are forced to live up with the repulsive smell omitted from uncollected heap of garbage dumped along Kamunde Road and Dandora phase one and within residential areas. Despites the plea and several attempts by community members and human rights activists from Kariobangi Social Justice Centre to have the garbage collected, their cries seem to have fallen on deaf ears as the matter is yet to be resolved and no solution is forthcoming.
The relevant authorities responsible cited the tussle between NMS and Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko as the major challenge which has paralyzed service delivery to the people. However lack of timely tracks to transport garbage to Dandora dumpsite is one of key major challenges contributing to dumping of the waste into the Mathare River, dumping along the Kamunde Road and within residential areas in Kariobangi. Encroachment and grabbing of open spaces and public lands makes it impossible for the youths doing waste management to identify a public space which can be used as holding grounds before the garbage can be collected and transported to the dumpsite.