The Ministry of Environment and Forestry in collaboration with the Nairobi Metropolitan Services and the Nairobi City County Government launched the Nairobi City County Environmental Sustainability and Circular Economy Awareness Campaign on 21st June 2021 at the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development.

The theme of the event was “The Nairobi We Want; Moving from a Linear to a Circular Economy”.

Dr. Ayub Macharia, Director of Environmental Education and Awareness at the Ministry of Environment said that the Ministry aims for an economy where waste will be on demand as its value increases. “This is the circular model we must achieve in Nairobi City, where waste is more re-valued than discarded,” He said. He noted that through the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) Regulations, the government seeks to eliminate waste from the environment and increase recycling rates. The Ministry of Environment and Forestry is already in talks with the Ministry of Energy, the National Treasury and other stakeholders to create incentives for the private sector players who are driving the green economy and recovery in Kenya. Such incentives will include easy access to financing, as well as affordable energy for material processing.

In his remarks, Principal Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Forestry Dr. Chris Kiptoo noted that the development of the greenhouse emissions strategy will further enhance the adoption of circular economy in Kenya. He went on to say that the National Waste Management Bill will implement simple guidelines such as mandatory waste segregation at source, where failure to comply will be considered an environmental crime.

Speaking at the launch, Maj. Gen. Mohammed Badi, Director-General of Nairobi Metropolitan Service (NMS) noted that NMS has done a lot to promote circular economy in the city including establishing material recovery facilities in each of the 17 sub-counties, as an element of the circular model. He said that the material recovery facilities aim to reclaim unmanaged waste dump sites and facilitate easier collection, sorting and eventually recycling of recovered materials in the various waste streams. “Kenya needs to demonstrate such leadership to reduce the cost of waste management and create jobs. I call on stakeholders both in the public and private sectors to come on board and help facilitate the establishment of these material recovery facilities,” He concluded.

The launch comes at a time when the world is still grappling with the impacts of Covid-19 pandemic. With rapid population, urbanization and consumption of single-use products, Nairobi County continues to struggle with unmanaged waste. The circular economy aims to eliminate all dump sites and ensure proper management to generate value and employment. It also provides numerous investment opportunities for the private sector to explore.