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Kenya manufacturers urge reforms in solid waste management

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenyan manufacturers on Wednesday called for legal reforms in order to promote private sector investments in solid waste management.

Suresh Patel, Chairman of the Environmental Committee, at the Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) told journalists in Nairobi that the current legal regime has resulted in uncoordinated government regulation and enforcement actions by regulatory entities that hinder private sector investments.

“There is urgent need for legal reforms that will promote investments in the field of recycling and waste management,” Patel said during the East Africa Utilities Expo.

The three day event seeks to connect and promote networking of policy makers and regulators in the building, construction, utilities and waste management sectors.

Patel said that legal reforms should be conducted in the areas of environmental regulations, health and safety rules, transportation laws, as well as zoning and land-use issues in order to lure private sector investments.

Patel said that the enormous problem of waste management cannot be addressed without a robust strategy and sustainable investment.

He said that the public sector lacks a viable business model to effectively manage solid waste.

Ayub Macharia, director of Environmental Education and Awareness Unit in the Ministry of Environment, said that studies conducted indicate that on average, city authorities only collect 40 percent of waste generated while the private sector collects another 20 percent.

“The remaining 40 percent is left uncollected or is disposed of through open burning or dumping in open areas and pits causing more environmental degradation and health hazards to urban dwellers,” Macharia said.

He observed that there is a strong relationship between waste generation and climate change.

The ministry of environment official said that rotting vegetation releases methane and waste pollution kills biodiversity which plays a role in cleaning harmful greenhouse gases.

National Environment and Management Authority (NEMA) Director General Geoffrey Wahungu said that Kenya has made deliberate efforts in improving the management of solid waste in Kenya including the promulgation of a new constitution.

Wahungu said that a National Solid Waste Management Strategy is already in place to guide sustainable solid waste management in Kenya to ensure a healthy, safe and secure environment for all.

He noted that the short term goal of the strategy is to achieve 30 percent waste recovery and 70 percent controlled dumping in key urban areas by 2020.

Over the long run, the East African nation hopes to achieve 80 percent waste recovery and 20 percent landfilling in a sanitary landfill by 2030.



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