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Health

Use part of city garbage tax to revamp Dandora

Dandora dumpsite
The Dandora dumpsite. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NMG 

For many people residing in the green city, where garbage and waste water go may not be a concern. Ultimately though, as part of our social responsibility, it ought toconcern us.

What many Nairobians don’t know, is that Dandora is the city hub for water sanitation and hygiene (WASH) activities. Apart from the city’s biggest garbage dumpsite, Ruai Sewerage and the Kariobangi Waste Water treatment plant are all nearby.

Every day, about 2,400 metric tonnes of garbage arrives at the Dandora dump, 32,000 M3 /day of sewage passes through the Kariobangi Sewerage treatment plant and an almost triple amount of clean water is pumped in the area’s water ways.

All these are exclusive of the 20 percent garbage that remains in the neighbourhoods and 30 percent of clean and waste water lost to leaks.

Were Dandora dump to shut down, the entire Eastlands would become one big stink.

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However, an emerging philosophy of “polluter pays”, where parties with the greatest guilt bear the biggest responsibility applies here. The recent proposal by Nairobi Governor, Mike Sonko, on imposing a new garbage and waste collection tax has stimulated discussions across the Dandora community. Should part of these new taxes go towards improving infrastructure and social services there?

In the past, Dandora was synonymous with a dumpsite, beautiful football and crime.

Across many neighbourhoods, though, youth involvement in its restoration is noted. Groups like the Dandora Transformation League and others engage in improvement projects targeting walkways, lighting, security and artsy green gardens and children play grounds to proclaim Dandora’s resurrection.

It is also a quest to shed off the tag of a slum.

One proposal is that a percentage of the new taxes be used to fund schools, health services, roads and recreation in the environs. The soon to be opened Dandora Stadium is just one of the projects Dandora’s residents clamoured for.

Another mooted idea is dedicating a segment of the garbage collection revenues to improve livelihood of the resident. Youth unemployment is still high. More so members actively engage in recycling, compromising health as a result.

The final component is Nairobi County procuring recycled products to close the loop and sustain the transformation plan.

Here, the Baba Dogo’s light industries could be funded and supported to be the recycling hubs for “green products”, thus creating employment

The proposed garbage tax is an opportunity to compensate Dandora for shouldering the brunt of our waste.

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