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Solid waste management is one of the core functions of the local authorities in Kenya. The management of solid waste however has proved to be a challenge to the concerned authorities due to the continuous increase in population and lack of capacity to collect and effectively manage the solid waste generated.

A CBOs’ Network which brings together different Community Based Organizations handling solid waste ‘stepped’ in to complement what the Kisumu City Council has been doing to control pollution and make the city habitable. The network subscribes to NBD’s Kenya Nile Discourse Forum (NKDF) as Kisumu Waste Collectors and Recyclers Association (K-CORE). K-CORE collects domestic waste door to door with use of gunny bags and pile the waste in a collection centre for sorting. From the sorting process, re-usable items like metal, plastics, paper and bottles are retained and sold off while the rest is taken to dump site.

Waste bags are distributed to clients weekly - during waste collection. Special arrangements are made under an agreement with clients that generate excessive waste and require services more than once a week; taking into account the number of collections per week and the charges that accrue to the client.

With this project, K-CORE contributes to reducing environmental pollution while at the same time generating income through payments from waste collection. This income in-turn helps K-CORE to run its activities.

The project which initially operated within Kisumu Town has now expanded to its peri-urban areas offering services to residents of Kisumu County. According to the coordinator Mr. Ben Alaka, waste management business especially from households is good because people will always generate waste as they consume food and other necessities of life. This means that they are in the business for a long time.

Mr. Alaka notes that the main challenge the project faces right now is lack of appropriate equipment for example a specialised truck to safely transport waste and also allow for easy movement to cover the entire county. He is also of the opinion that it is not sustainable to collect the waste from the outskirts of the town and bring to the current dumpsite that is located within Kisumu Town. There is therefore serious need for effective satellite waste recycling plants within the county to transform the waste into resources through processing. This will create even more employment opportunities.

By James ODUOR
National Technical Support Expert – Kenya NDF

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