By: Odhiambo Oketch
Recently Kenya witnessed the swearing in of Governors across the Country. In Nairobi, Dr Evans Kidero was sworn into office at Uhuru Park. During the campaigns, he promised to address the question on garbage that has run amok in Nairobi.
This was refreshing to those who value clean environments but also realize waste is not all filth because; waste is such a huge resource that must be tapped into. Many Environmental Managers in Kenya have simply refused to address the question of managing waste on the simple reason that they have massive personal returns in shifting waste from one point to the next.
Nairobi spends Kshs 40m every month in paying 20 Contracted Garbage Truckers who collect no garbage as they routinely queue for their pay cheque. The Kshs 40m is easy money for the Environment Managers and the Garbage Collection Contractors. It is such a lucrative business that simply lulls all one has read in Waste Management. It places extra bread on the table at a time the Council is unable to pay her employees.
The situation is the same across all other Counties and this presents a sad scenario.
We have refused to invest in human capital, in equipment and in modern waste handling techniques, and we have chosen the easy way out; live with the rot as a small clique of crooked businessmen skim the cream.
With the swearing in of this new breed of Managers, we are eager and hopeful that Waste and Waste Management is going to be the next frontier for National Development.
At â€œThe Clean Africa Campaignâ€-TCAC, we are ready to work with these new breed of managers to help make a difference. We are developing our next 5 Year Strategic Plan and we are aligning this to the electoral circle, to enable us feed in with the new governors and their programmes. We are going to be available to work with all our new governors and help make our towns and counties clean.
There are various benefits that come with waste, and we will not engage in empty rhetoric where people talk about waste being wealth without actualizing the same. We will want to encourage the governors to institute the concept of Separation of Waste at Source and enforce the same.
We will be inviting the governors to register and train all Waste Handlers with the one singular aim of benefiting from the Waste Value Chain- from the generators to the collectors, transporters to the end consumers of Waste.
The Western World did not just become Clean. Efforts were made towards this and in Africa, we can also make efforts to make Africa Clean. We must move from being the Dark and Dirty Continent to one of Hope and Imagination. And our New Governors must be men who can dream new dreams for Africa. Not the lost dreams from our Fathers, the dreams that led us to poverty, disease, ignorance, corruption, impunity and tribalism. Our Governors must dream new dreams that will lead Africa to a new healing process where all will unite in working for plenty, peace and growth.