Tuesday, 09 July 2024 07:44

Transforming Kenya's Waste Management

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Kenya's counties are poised to transform their waste management practices, drawing inspiration from successful models. Facing significant challenges such as inadequate waste collection services, improper disposal practices, lack of public awareness, insufficient funding, and policy gaps, governors sought a solution through a strategic visit to Ghana. This visit aimed to study and replicate the effective waste management practices of the Zoomlion, an affiliate of the Jospong Group of Companies, a move that promises to revolutionize Kenya's approach to waste management.
Speaking during the visit, the leader of Council of Governors (CoG) delegation Vice Chair H.E Ahmed Abdullahi pointed out the importance of governments and African countries taking the opportunity to learn from each other. He also took the Ghanaian team through the Kenya country governance structure pointing out that in Kenya, Waste management is a fully devolved function.
“It is incredible to see an African country doing well in a sector and giving other countries an opportunity to learn from them. Some of the practices are wonderful and the results can be seen. As County Governments we are committed to working with partners in order to replicate these practices within our context,” said Governor Abdullahi.
Kenya's rapid urbanization, population growth, and industrial activities have led to increased solid waste generation, overwhelming the existing infrastructure. Many counties in Kenya struggle with irregular waste collection, leading to waste accumulation in residential and commercial areas. This often results in illegal dumping and the creation of open dumpsites, which become breeding grounds for disease vectors. Learning from Ghana, County Governments aim to implement more efficient waste collection services to maintain cleanliness and guarantee public health.
Dr. Joseph Siaw Agyepong, founder and executive chairman of the Jospong Group of Companies on his part said that his company will partner with Counties to ensure they get rid of solid, liquid and medical waste at the county level. “As a company, we want to partner with you to ensure we deal with waste management issues in Kenya. We have gained experience over the years that can be beneficial to both Ghana and the Counties in Kenya especially as most towns and cities continue to grow rapidly,” Said Dr. Siaw.
The Kenyan delegation visited Zoomlion Group, a leading waste management company to study the waste management model and further gain insights that will accelerate Kenya's transition from a linear to a circular economy. By learning from Zoomlion's innovative and sustainable practices, Kenyan counties aimed to establish a comprehensive framework that prioritizes recycling, waste reduction, and resource recovery.
The delegation also visited waste transfer stations in Accra, where primary sorting and compaction occur before waste is transported to recycling plants. Youth use tricycles (tuk-tuks) to collect waste from households and deposit it at collection centers at a fee. The waste is then weighed, and charges are determined before it is loaded into larger trucks using conveyor belts. This model can be replicated in Kenya to ensure a transition to a circular economy and create employment opportunities for youth. The liquid waste management plant in Ghana receives over 230 trucks a day and ensures the proper treatment of sewage, enhancing recycling. The sludge is converted into biochar/briquettes for household use, and the residual water is treated and distributed to farmers for irrigation and other uses. This transition to a circular economy was inspired by widespread pollution in the past, where untreated sewage was disposed of in the ocean, affecting biodiversity. The delegation visited the Accra composting and recycling plant, an innovative facility that helps accelerate the transition to a circular economy. The material recovery facility utilizes organic waste to make fertilizer and transforms plastic waste into plastic pellets for the Ghanaian and international markets. This model can help Kenyan counties, especially city counties, manage all waste produced and generate revenue from waste collection.
Additionally, the delegation visited the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources, the OmniBSIC Bank, and the Kumasi Compost and Recycling Plant. These visits aimed to understand the collaboration between the Jospong Group and various stakeholders, including the role of financial institutions in supporting waste management infrastructure development. The familiarization visit provided valuable insights and laid the groundwork for Kenya to improve its waste management practices. By learning from Ghana’s successful model, Kenya can address its waste management challenges and move towards a more sustainable future. The positive outcomes of this visit highlight the importance of international collaboration in solving global environmental issues and showcase a promising path forward for Kenya.

 

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