Hoteliers have asked the Mombasa and Kilifi county governments to collect rotting garbage and keep the resort towns clean ahead of the tourism high season.
Sam Ikwaye, the Kenya Association of Hotelkeepers and Caterers (KAHC) Coast branch executive said Mombasa, which is the country’s tourism hub, is filthy due to piles of uncollected garbage.
Mounds of garbage dumped on road reserves and public areas are emitting overpowering stench, making life miserable for locals and visitors, he said.
The KAHC official said the refuse in the town is an eyesore to both locals and international tourists visiting Mombasa for holidays.
“In every corner of the town you travel, you are hit by sickening smell of rotting garbage or sewage emptied into storm-water drainage system,” he said.
Mr Ikwaye said tourists travelling by road from the Moi International Airport have to endure an intolerable stench emanating from the Kibarani dumpsite.
“For Mombasa to attract more holidaymakers, the city must be kept clean. The high season is just the corner and it is our wish that the county chiefs address the solid waste challenge,” he said.
In Malindi, Ocean Beach Resort Managing Director Roberto Marini said the tourist town was choking with garbage due to non-collection of waste.
The hotelier added that the untidiness of the town is among the challenges crippling tourism in Malindi.
“It saddening that a town which depends solely on tourism has been left untidy due to the laxity of the Kilifi county government in getting rid of the filth in the holiday destination,” he said.
Mr Marini called on the county authorities to clean the town for residents and visitors to live in a clean environment.
When reached for comment, Tendai Lewa, Mombasa's county executive in charge of health, said the county was grappling with the challenge of community garbage collectors who recklessly dump garbage in the streets.
He said the community garbage collectors throw waste on road reserves instead of placing it on designated stations where trucks can collect it.
“We have more than 700 community garbage collectors who collect garbage from residential and business premises across the town,” he said.
“Sadly, instead of transporting the garbage to dumpsites, they carelessly pour the waste in the streets thereby making the city unclean,” he added.
To address the issue, Mr Lewa said the county’s inspectorate department was cracking down on the collectors messing the town and would face the law.
“We arrest between seven and eight irresponsible collectors and take them to court. The sentences meted on them will deter them from reckless throwing of litter in the town,” he warned.
Mr Lewa assured Mombasa residents and hoteliers that the county would redouble its efforts to make the town clean.
Address the matter
In Kilifi, environment executive Mwachitu Kiringi said the county was addressing the matter.
“Last week, we faced a garbage collection crisis in Malindi town after the contractor withdrew his services due to a payment delay,” he said.
In order to rid the town of filth, Mr Kiringi said the county had hired a truck to collect the garbage that had piled up on road reserves.
He added that the county had repaired its trucks that were now working to keep the seaside resort town clean.