Muhoroni residents protest relocation of dump site

Trash being offloaded from a Lorry in Kasese dumpsite in a recent photo.

Photo credit: Tonny Omondi | Nation Media Group.

Muhoroni residents are up in arms over a decision by the Kisumu County government to dump solid waste in Kasese without establishing a waste management plant.

Kasese now serves as an alternative waste management centre after the decades-old Kachok dumpsite was closed.

A waste-processing plant was supposed to be set up to convert garbage into environmentally friendly products.

This was meant to ensure the waste does not pile up as had been the case with the former Kachok dumpsite.

“We had agreed to have a factory put up on the site before the waste relocation but that is yet to happen. We also don’t understand the reason behind the change of plans,” said Mr Kevin Odhiambo, a resident of Achuodho, Muhoroni sub-county.

The processing plant, the county says, would convert waste into energy, fertilisers, and interlocking blocks from shredded glass and plastics that would be used to build houses.

The county had also agreed to construct a weighbridge, access roads, drainage systems, a dyke, a guard house, toilets and a waste recovery centre on the piece of land.

“We were surprised when a number of trucks started emptying waste at the site a few weeks ago. We have tried to approach the county for talks without success,” said Mr Odhiambo.

But Environment executive Salmon Orimba said plans were underway to put up the factory.

He said several processes barred the county from implementing the plans.

“We have advertised the site to attract potential investors who, after matching our standards, will proceed to put up the factories,” said Mr Orimba.

He said the country has been preparing the site.

“We have constructed a weighbridge, a guard house and drainages, planted trees, and built access roads and toilets in preparation for the project,” said Mr Orimba.

When the Nation visited the Kasese site on Thursday morning, it remained inactive apart from a few waste collectors dumping fresh garbage.

The growing heap of waste, with some already finding its way out of the fenced area, is already a source of worry for residents.

Apart from the guard house, a toilet and young trees, the better part of the site remains unoccupied, with the waste deposited in the centre of the land.

A handful of residents were also busy segregating solid waste while waiting for possible buyers, with smoke coming from the disposed material.

“We had expected to be awarded job opportunities in the factory but that is yet to happen. As we speak, some of the waste has found its way into the nearest stream, becoming a health hazard,” said Ms Mercy Achieng, a resident.

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