Mombasa seeks firm to tap methane from former dumpsite


A man walks past a bronze buffalo statue at the Kibarani Recreational Park in Mombasa March 5, 2019. The Mombasa County government is seeking to tap methane gas from the area that was formerly a dumpsite. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Mombasa County is looking for a firm to set up infrastructure for harvesting methane gas at the former Kibarani dumpsite, which is currently being restored and rehabilitated to a recreational park.

“We are trying to get a firm that can put infrastructure for harvesting the gas," Environment, Waste Management and Energy executive Dr Godffrey Nato told the Business Daily.

"We will still have to engage somebody to analyse the levels being produced so as to inform the firm that wants to move in and harvest,” added Dr Nato.

The National Environmental Management Authority (Nema) had also asked Mombasa governor Hassan Joho to tap methane gas at the former Kibarani dumpsite.

Not safe

Nema director-general Geoffrey Wahungu said the former dumpsite is not safe for development of buildings.

“The place is safe for people it is just not safe for buildings, you see it is like a bomb it can easily go down. You tap it like you are drilling gas, you can remove all that methane,” Prof Wahungu said during an interview with the Business Daily in Mombasa.

The Nema boss said he is monitoring the beautification progress to its conclusion adding that the place has transformed into a beautiful site.

However, Prof Wahungu said the county should deal with toxicity in the area.

“I am happy with the progress in Kibarani, especially the aesthetic component of rehabilitation, but we have not dealt with toxicity,” Prof Wahungu said.

The area which is undergoing remarkable transformation into a recreational park is taking shape with beautiful trees and greenery attracting most residents who throng to Kibarani every weekend.

In January, President Uhuru Kenyatta directed the National Land Commission to revoke Kibarani dumpsite land allocation to private developers ordering that the land be instead given back to the county government.

Recreational facilities

Further, the Head of State said the dumpsite should be decommissioned and used for the development of recreational facilities as part of the ongoing efforts to reposition Mombasa as a top tourism destination in the region.

The county has planted attractive palm and casuarina trees in the area.