Counties urged to turn waste into wealth through efficient, circular management systems

Kara participated in the inaugural Eastern Africa Waste is Wealth Conference held from 6th to 8th June 2023 at Trademark Hotel in Nairobi.

The theme of the event was “Promoting Effective Waste Management Practices for Environmental Conservation and Climate Change Mitigation.” The three-day Conference was organized by TakaTaka Ni Mali in partnership with Alliance for Science and East African Business Council (EABC).

Speaking at the conferenceEng.Festus Ng’eno, Principal Secretary in the State Department for Environment and Climate Change, said the Kenyan government, through policy implementation priorities for sustainable waste management, is driving the creation of green jobs and supporting entrepreneurship development in waste managementThe government, he said, is also using the circular economy model to minimize waste through recycling existing materials and products. The PS however noted that in Kenya, waste is mostly dumped in the environment and dumpsites due to underdeveloped recyclable waste collection systems. He said households and private businesses do not have the incentive to segregate at source in compliance with the Sustainable Waste Management Act of 2022. The Act requires all public and private sector entities to segregate non-hazardous waste into organic and nonorganic fractions and place them in properly labeled and color-coded receptacles, bins, containers, and bags.

The National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) Director General Boru Mamo said waste is a resource, which can only be realized when everyone plays their role in managing it efficiently.

“It is only in Africa where waste is seen as what it is, waste. From the point of generation to the point of disposal, we need to separate the waste so that what gets to our disposal sites is minimal,” Mamo said.

The conference had panel discussions that featured various organizations, including Kara, Unilever, Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA), Safaricom, and United Nations Global Compact.

Kara CEO Henry Ochieng participated in panel discussion where he stated that there is need to sensitize and empower communities to practice segregation and recycling of waste at the household and neighborhood level. He noted that the Sustainable Waste Management Act, 2022 is anchored on the circular economy approach to waste management and we would like to see this concept entrenched and practised at the neighbourhood level.  He added that Kara will carry out a pilot in Nairobi, Mombasa and Nakuru establishing a model estate in regard to waste management through circular economy. This will b up-scaled and extended to other parts of the country.

You can watch recap of the panel discussions here:

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