By The COAST Reporter
It’s now official that dumping of garbage could land you in a civil jail as the county government orders closure of all illegal dumping sites with immediate effect.
Mombasa county government has now issued a seven days’ notice to have all landfills cleared in a bid to restore the city’s lost glory.
Issuing the orders, Mombasa Governor Abdulswamad Nassir said he was compelled to close down the landfills after it emerged that they were being miss used from transfer sites to garbage dumping sites.
“We have also suspended all charges on trucks, tuk tuks and handcarts taking garbage to Mwakirunge dumpsite and all the remaining transfer points.
That have made residents to litter everywhere. Let it not be a reason to make the city dirty,” said Nassir.
The governor said that henceforth, transfers will be done directly to trucks, adding that his government will be issuing substantive measures to the public on how garbage will be handled.
Meanwhile the governor said his government has so far deployed 40 trucks to undertake ferrying of garbage to the relevant dumping site.
“The trucks will be stationed at designated sites to be communicated soon to the public in all the 30 wards in Mombasa. We shall also deploy ant-dumping officers in all the closed landfills to arrest those who break the law.” he said
He however stated that the county will continue engaging in public participation to ensure that they are fully aware of the new changes.
“We expect to see order in all the transfer points, there will be no more excuses or reasons, all those involved will be sensitized on the ongoing changes so that they don’t find themselves in the wrong side of the law. We have to achieve our agenda for a cleaner Mombasa, this changes must be felt within the next 100 days” he said.
The governor also said that the county shall undertake a construction audit to ensure that all buildings have a bio digester to treat their sewage before being released to the ocean.
He also promised to fast-track the issuance of construction permits to less than 72 hours in a bid to streamline the sector even as they crackdown on illegal sewage connection to the county’s storm-water system.
According to a UN Habitat Assessment Report of 2019 in conjunction with the county, Mombasa produces about 1,000 tons of solid waste everyday with the county only managing to collect 60 percent of it.
The remaining 40 percent he said finds itself on the streets and illegal dumpsites all the way to the ocean with some even blocking manholes for the storm water system in the county.
Plastic waste according to the report comprises of 9 percent whereby only half of it is processed for recycling.
Deputy Governor Thoya urged residents to help the county deal with the garbage menace.
Thoya, who is now in charge of the program to clean Mombasa within the next 100 days, said he will not relent in his work, promising to take stern action against county officials found trying to compromise the works.
“We have the capacity as a county but we have been overwhelmed because of the garbage backlog, we are gradually closing the transfer sites so that we can manage the situation,” said Thoya.
Earlier in the day, the two held a meeting with the county department of environment together with environment CBOs and waste collecting companies.
The meeting was also attended by representatives from the WWF-Kenya and the Coca cola Foundation who handed over three tuktuks to youth groups involved in the garbage collection work to promote a circular economy.
Through the 18-month project, about 500 youth and women are set to benefit from the Sh15 million grants to be issued and will be trained on plastic waste management.
“WWF-Kenya has been championing a circular plastics economy in Mombasa with a vision of making Keya’s second largest city a plastic smart city by 2030,” said the WWF-Kenya representative