Connect with us


Sorting stations and technology use to help counties tackle waste management problems



The rural urban migration in growing rapidly in developing countries as more people seek opportunities that cities and towns have to offer.

In Kenya according to the Kenya Institute for Public Policy Research and Analysis (KPPRA), the country is undergoing a high rate of rural-urban migration especially among young people in Kenya mostly who are between the ages of 20 and 24 years.

A further report by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) released in 2020 estimates that the number of youth finding life in urban areas from their rural homes in Kenya stood at 277,000 annually between 2015 and 2020.

While increased productivity by young people in city life is a sign of success, there are problem cities and towns not only in Kenya are grappling with, unemployment and waste management.

According to an analysis report by Taka Taka Ni Mali (TTNM) dubbed Bridging the Gap in Waste Management, Kenya is with a population 53.8 million is projected to have a 92.6 million population by 2050 a factor that is expected to stress the country waste management systems.

“This increased urbanization, rural-urban migration, rising standards of living and rapid economic growth have contributed to increased sold waste generation by industrialization and other domestic activities,” the report states.

With its current population, Kenya generates between 3000 and 4000 tons of waste daily with a huge chunk emanating from urban industries and households.

Of the sampled four city counties in terms of waste management by TTNM, Nairobi County emerged as the county with the best waste management system. Kenya’s largest city with a population of 4.4 million generates about 2600 tonnes of waste daily. 74.6% of this waste is collected with only 25.6% being uncollected waste.

Mombasa County with a population of 1.1 million generating 1100 tonnes of waste daily collects half of its waste with the remaining 50% being uncollected.

Nakuru County which is home to Kenya’s newest city, Nakuru City with a population of 2.1 million generates 2204.62 tonnes of waste and only 45% of its waste iis collected. The the remaining 55% is uncollected.

Kisumu emerged fourth as the county with the least efficient waste collection system with at least 80% of its waste going uncollected while only 20% gets collected. The city has 1.1 million inhabitants generating 551 tonnes of waste.

According to the Kenya Alliance of Resident Associations (KARA) CEO Henry Ochieng, lack of awareness and infrastructure for proper waste management at the household level is to blame for the high rate of uncollected waste.

“Domestically, there is a lack of infrastructure, which will enable us to do segregation at source from our homes. There is a lack of adequate bins and bags to allow us to do proper waste management from home,” said Ochieng.

According to TTNM Founder Mary Ngechu, counties can solve their waste management challenges by leveraging technology which can also create employment among young people.

This comes as the firm announced the launch of Ecoloop, a digital platform designed to coordinate stakeholders in the waste management value chain for better data management and investment decisions.

‘We must recognize the untapped value within waste. The key is understanding how to harness its potential. That’s why we’ve developed the Ecoloop digital platform, to consolidate the endeavors of stakeholders across the waste management value chain. Currently, these efforts are disjointed, prompting us to coordinate them and deliver more comprehensive data and results for improved investment decisions,’ she added.

Sustainable Waste Management Act 2021 mandates waste segregation at its source failure to comply will result in a penalty of Ksh 20,000.

“There will be no more negotiations with waste collectors. We demand the transportation of segregated waste,” noted Dr. Ayub Macharia, the Director of Environmental Enforcement at the National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA).

Ecoloop also helps in monitoring waste movement and conversion processes, and evaluate environmental impacts. The system offers solutions to tackle the hurdles within an underdeveloped waste management value chain. Its objective is to encourage and enhance recycling efforts while promoting the utilization of waste-based resources.