Sunday, June 23, 2024

Kenya: Looming Health Crisis as Garbage Cartels Convert Public Roads Into Dumping Sites in Dagoretti North

Nairobi — In the heart of Dagoretti North constituency within Nairobi, a looming public health crisis has taken root, fueled by the rampant illegal dumping of solid waste.

The situation has worsened due to criminal gangs which have found safe haven in illegal dumpsites at the Riruta area of Kawangware, leading to a rise in cases of mugging and general insecurity.

Area residents say this crisis is a ticking time bomb that threatens the health and well-being of the community, especially young children who have to use the same roads while going to school.

The area legislator, Beatrice Elachi, has in the past accused landlords of failing to ensure garbage collected from their premises is dumped in the designated areas.

The illegal dumping sites, situated along two public roads in a densely populated residential area, have become breeding grounds for disease and pose significant risks to the community.

“Who protects these cartels who have converted public roads into illegal dumping sites?” a resident only identified as Meshack rhetorically asked.

Residents are now facing the additional burden of waste spilling into private land and residential property, exacerbating the situation.

The consequences of this ongoing crisis cannot be underestimated, as diseases like cholera, typhoid, and respiratory illnesses loom heavily over the heads of the residents.

Compounding the issue is the apparent negligence and alleged corruption that has hindered efforts to address the problem.

Locals say both the police and officials from the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) have turned a blind eye, leaving the community feeling abandoned and unheard.

Allegations of compromised officials only deepen the despair of the residents.

For an astonishing 15 years, the community has endured the noxious stench and unsightly mountains of waste that continue to accumulate.

The lack of action from Nairobi County officials, who hold the authority and responsibility to intervene, is particularly disheartening, locals who spoke to this reporter said.

In addition to the public health risks, criminal gangs have taken advantage of the situation, finding a safe haven in the affected area.

As a result, cases of mugging have been on the rise, and the overall insecurity has escalated, adding to the hardships faced by the residents.