Breath of fresh air in Kisumu as Kachok dumpsite is finally levelled

Kisumu residents and the business community can now breathe a sigh of relief after Kachok dumpsite was relocated from town to the Kasese area in Muhoroni sub-county.

Photo credit: Tonny Omondi | Nation Media Group

After decades of enduring the stench of filth in the Kisumu city centre residents and business owners can now breathe fresh air after the infamous Kachok dumpsite was levelled.

Several street boys who have known the dumpsite as their home are still hovering around, trying to locate a new habitat.

Ms Lilian Akoth, a Kisumu resident, said that with the removal of the Kachok garbage, the stench is gone.

"The environment around Kachok has completely changed. The garbage was a health hazard for us and the people who would come for sporting activities [at Moi Stadium)," said Ms Akoth.

In the past, many football enthusiasts who could not afford to pay the gate fee would climb the heap of garbage and watch soccer matches from outside.

Ms Diana Otieno, who is participating in the ongoing vocational college ball games, said they were less worried about the stench.

"With the transfer of traders from Moi Stadium back to Kibuye, the place is cleaner. Now we have tournaments and have our meals within the environment," Ms Otieno said.

The 44-year-old dumpsite, which sits between Mega City Mall and Moi Stadium, has a long history.

It has been not only an eyesore for the peop

Since the inception of devolution in 2013, the dumpsite has gobbled up millions of shillings as officials made attempts to relocate it.

Photo credit: Tonny Omondi | Nation Media Group

For years, Kisumu politicians have used the dumpsite as a campaign tool but little was done about it.

Hope for residents

However, there was hope for residents after Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o last year revealed plans to transform the eight-acre Kachok dumpsite land into a recreational park for Sh130 million and embarked on rolling them out.

Last year, the county government flattened part of the dumpsite and removed some garbage to a quarry as it embarked on setting up a botanical garden.

Landscaping, which includes planting trees, grass, flowers and shrubs, was to cost Sh1 million. The county is also constructing a perimeter wall around it.

Last year, the Kisumu County government spent Sh34 million to acquire 207 acres in Kasese, Chiga, Muhoroni sub-county, where the city’s garbage will be sent.

Some of the Kasese land will be used for waste management, while the rest will be reserved for other county projects.

For the past two months, trucks have been ferrying garbage from Kachok to Kasese.

Acting City Manager Abala Wanga said the county is setting up an integrated waste-to-energy project that will serve as a garbage disposal and recycling plant.

"We have stopped the dumping of waste at Kachok. All the fresh waste will be dumped at Kasese," he said.

Vic Hotel, situated next to Mega City Mall, has also had to endure the garbage headache for the last 14 years.

Major supermarkets

The three-star hotel and major supermarkets like Game and Naivas are affected.

The mall houses showrooms, medical facilities, high-end boutiques and entertainment and recreational facilities.

Vic Hotel owner Nirmal Dardar said they choose to dwell on the positive side rather than complaining.

"For us, we focus on service delivery to our clients, though sometimes when the wind blows it brings with it the bad smell and smoke from the dumpsite," said Mr Dardar.

But he said closing the Kachok dumpsite means the air will be cleaner for the hotel’s customers.

Besides polluting the air, the dumpsite had also become a nuisance for athletes and football lovers.

On top of the pungent smell, athletes also had to cope with the lack of a warm-up track.

Some of them resorted to warming up on the bumpy ground behind the wire mesh that surrounds the pitch.

But Moi Stadium Complex Manager Benjamin Nduati told the Nation they will use the space in front of the stadium as an alternative space for athletes to warm up.

"On the right side of the stadium, we intend to use the space for indoor games such as volleyball and badminton, while the other side [will be used for parking]," said Mr Nduati.


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