The solid waste management situation in Kisumu is complex and cuts across public health and environmental issues. Kachok Dumpsite is less than 2 km from Kisumu City CBD, and the County Government plan is underway for an alternative dumpsite upon relocation. Its relocation to other sites outside the City as a landfill has not been possible due to economic, social as well as political implications.
To the waste actors including; waste collectors and waste pickers, it provides means of survival. To traders at Kibuye, it has always been a convenient place for waste disposal. Before the commencement of construction of the new Kibuye Market, Kibuye which receives and handles huge quantities of food materials into the city was sited as the biggest contributor of waste into Kachok Dumpsite.
Garbage relocation is set to take two and a half months as the county government has completed the construction of a new access road to the new site in Kasese. Earlier, it was speculated that the new dumpsite would be in Chiga. Relocating Kachok dumpsite has taken longer following court cases towards the County Department of Environment while on the receiving end, waste piled up despite efforts to decommission it.
According to Governor, Prof Anyang Nyong’o, construction of the new waste management facility in Muhoroni is underway, “With the roads done and the site fenced, we are 60 per cent done. What is remaining now is to put up the facility that will process waste into energy.”
After the successive removal of the infamous Kachok dumpsite, the County Government of Kisumu plans to put in place a significant investment by constructing an Ultra Modern ecotourism Park at the site with several amenities. Once the ongoing waste evacuation is completed, the park will transform into a botanical garden funded under the Kisumu Urban Project at a cost of Kshs135 million.
Kisumu City, with an estimated population of over 500,000 generates approximately 300 tonnes of solid waste daily. 65% of the waste generated is organic in nature and 27% is recyclable. With limited capacity to sort, reduce and recycle, Kachok dump site is already full to its capacity, but continue to receive more waste due to lack of an alternative site.
According to the Governor, “identifying best solid waste management practices and construction of the facility will turn waste into energy will be beneficial to locals. Due diligence, including an environmental impact assessment has been done on the new site and work is progressing on well.”
The quarry site where waste will be dumped was inspected and approved for purposes of the landfill. Dumping of this waste in quarry pits in Kajulu will curb the health hazards traders at a new Kibuye Market next to Kachok dumpsite face.