The Kenya Alliance of Resident Associations (KARA) is concerned by the apparent inability by the Nairobi City County Government (NCCG) to properly manage solid waste and keep the city clean.

While we appreciate that all of us have a role to play in keeping our streets and neighbourhood free of garbage, NCCG bears the greatest responsibility given the fact that city residents pay taxes and rates to facilitate provision of services, including waste management.

NCCG has however dealt with the issue of waste management in a haphazard manner devoid of proper stakeholders involvement and consultation. Their actions have been reactive, short-lived and unsustainable. What happened to the monthly clean up exercise that was launched by the President & Governor in 2014?  What happened to Nairobi City County weekly clean up exercise launched in January 2015 by County Executive for Environment? 

The County Government recently introduced franchising and zoning as a way of managing waste. However the whole process was shrouded in secrecy & irregularities. As a result the company awarded the contract to collect garbage in zone 7 has not lived up to the expectations of the residents in that zone. While there exist an integrated solid waste management master plan, it is evident from the reactive responses by the County Government that the plan is not being effectively implemented. 

To affectively address the solid waste management challenge, the County Government should stop knee-jerk reactions and do the following:
1. Promote community based solid waste management by instilling a sense of responsibility & ownership among communities. They should invest in public awareness creation; solid waste management outreach activities and education. 
2. Commence and make sustainable the monthly/weekly clean up exercises. This should not be a PR exercise. It should be taken seriously and entrenched in the work plan of the relevant County officers 
3. Provide an enabling framework and environment for private garbage collectors to operate and complement the work of the Government. 
4. In consultation with stakeholders, review and evaluate the solid waste franchising/zoning plan currently in place  to determine its effectiveness and suitability in addressing the solid waste challenges facing the City.
5. Develop a clear implementation matrix for the integrated solid waste management masterplan and ensure proper execution of the plan

KARA is ready to join hands with the County Government in rolling out the above suggestions and ensuring that we keep our City clean. We challenge the Governor not to pass the buck and personally take interest in addressing Nairobi’s myriad environmental challenges. He must lead from the front. Nairobi residents expect nothing but better services commensurate with the taxes they pay.