Kitengela residents push for closure of dumpsite over health hazard

By , K24 Digital
On Wed, 8 Feb, 2023 10:35 | 2 mins read
Residents of Noonkopir Kitengela protest over a dumpsite in the area they say has turned a health hazard. PHOTO/Christine Musa

The forceful closure of the Kitengela dumpsite by residents who are protesting against health hazards and illegal dumping of hospital waste has today entered day two.

Adamant locals of Noonkopir where the 5acre dumpsite is situated have vowed to remain put to ensure there is no dumping of waste citing serious health complications

Foul smell and billowing smoke day and night characterized the filthy dumpsite whose overflow now occupies over ten acres extending to residential homes and commercial plots to the chagrin of suffering locals.

On Tuesday drama ensued when uniformed police officers escorted lorries to the dumpsite to dump waste and were forced to flee for safety as adamant locals chased them away.

Locals further decry that in the recent past, rogue County officers have been allowing lorries to illegally dump hospital waste which is later burnt leading to the choking smoke that has adversely affected their health, especially young children.

Used syringes scattered across the dumpsite have become a common site amid concerns over increased water-borne and respiratory diseases.

"We have time to time protested against the overflow of waste from this dump site. It is disheartening that the situation is turning ugly by day. Currently, the dumpsite is burning hospital waste day and night making our environment inhabitable due to the choking smoke that is a threat to our health. The situation has worsened and we can no longer tolerate it. We will not allow any further dumping until the menace is addressed, " Paul Lenana, Noonkopir residents chairperson said.

The county askaris manning the dumpsite are said to illegally charge at least Ksh2,000 for a lorry dumping hospital waste against the required Ksh900 charges of dumping acceptable waste.

Agitated residents say efforts to seek address by the county government over their woes have hit a snag and instead the officers involved intimidate them.

"This dumpsite is a cash cow to a few individuals who mint thousands daily. The rogue County officers are endangering our lives by allowing careless dumping and illegal waste dumping. They also control and endanger the lives of plastic waste collectors who operate within the dump site. Tens of lorries flock to this dumpsite every day including at night, " Peter Njihia, a resident said.

They now call on concerned agencies including NEMA to intervene and save them from the health hazard.

"NEMA officials and other concerned stakeholders should visit and assess this dumpsite. Lives of those residing in Noonkopir has become risky owing to health hazard," John Githinji a resident appealed.

Residents' cry and protest come amid an ongoing county government much-hyped project dubbed Taka ni Mali which residents term its impact as a 'hoax'.

Efforts to reach the dumpsite management to comment over the matter has been futile.

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