Filthy garbage, choking smoke and unbearable scent characterized the Ngong dumpsite to the chagrin of suffering residents.
The surrounding homes and rental houses were deserted due to the air pollution. Residents of the informal Mathare settlements who remained put citing the lack of an optional settlement bore the burden of untold suffering amid an eyesore environment. Cholera remained the major waterborne disease reported in the settlement.
Ngong dumpsite new face
A visit to the six-acre dumpsite one year after its closure depicts a different picture. The area has been transformed, carpeted with grass and a variety of trees courtesy of the county government of Kajiado.
The initiative came after protracted wranglers between the county government local politicians and individuals who used to control the landfill for their benefit.
“We are happy that the lost glory of this area has been regained. We have suffered for a long time, we thought the little garbage we collected and sold was beneficial but we have now appreciated the healthy environment we are now residing in. Cholera cases are now a thing of the past,” Ann Mumbe a resident of Mathare slums revealed.
John Wesonga who left his palatial home six years ago after the environment became unbearable is also among homeowners who recently embarked on their homes.
“I moved to Ngong town and rented a two-bedroom house for my family. The environmental hazard was too much to bear. I am happy to be back at my home,” Wesonga said.
Ngong Municipality Manager David Kobai said the municipality is rooting for an alternative 20-acre landfill at Ngong vet land but as an immediate measure, they are working in partnership with private companies in recycling the waste products from the source.
“We have engaged private companies to collect and recycle the waste which was previously dumped at the closed Ngong dumpsite. The companies are responsible for seeking alternative dumpsites to dump the waste that cannot be recycled and the partnership is proving to be successful,” said Kobai.
Effects of dumpsite
Kobai said the effects of the dumpsite overshadowed the ease of dumping waste compromising health and security in the area.
He said the tonnes of waste which require alternative dumping sites reduced from the previous 3 tonnes per annum to at least 1.5 tonnes due to enhanced recycling.
At the Ngong Modern market, waste is sorted from the source. Biodegradable waste is used to make fertilizer and cooking gases. More locals are making use of the biodegradable waste in their small ways.
The waste recycling project is set to be replicated in Kiserian and Ongata Rongai towns that fall under Ngong Municipality jurisdiction.