Kitengela residents say town is choking in garbage


Traders sell their wares at the Kitengela temporary retail market. 

Photo credit: Stanley Ngotho | Nation Media Group

Traders and residents of Kitengela town are grappling with uncollected garbage that has become an eyesore over the past month.

The rubbish is emitting a foul stench at the makeshift Kitengela retail market, with traders expressing fears of water-borne diseases if the piles are not collected.  

Traders who are forced to sell fresh produce and food next to piles of rubbish say the filthy environment is keeping customers away.

The traders blame the county government for failing to clear the rubbish on time, despite collecting cess daily.

"The Kajiado County government collects the daily cess but cannot collect the garbage, our businesses are badly affected," said Ms Brigid Nanjala, a trader.


A garbage truck parked at a public yard in Kitengela town on December 28, 2023.

Photo credit: Stanley Ngotho | Nation Media Group

It is a similar story in most of the streets of this dusty town. Garbage is piling up everywhere, much to the chagrin of the locals.

"The relevant department has not been collecting garbage for the past three to four weeks despite our complaints," said Mr Patrick Muriithi, a trader.

Although Kitengela has been a municipality for one year and three months, locals say they are yet to see any significant development that comes with the town's new status.  

"We thought upgrading the town to a municipality would bring benefits, but nothing seems to have changed," said Ms Getrude Moraa, a trader.

Locals want the health department to close the market, fearing a cholera outbreak if garbage is not collected.

The county government also recently established the Mazingira Unit, a body to monitor and enforce general environmental hygiene, but the town remains in a sorry state.

A Nation Africa spot check on Thursday revealed that one of the trucks that used to collect garbage had been abandoned in a public yard for months after it broke down.