Human adjustment to solid waste pollution:A case study of Dandora area in Nairobi
Mwalagho, John K
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This study examined the human adjustment to solid waste pollution: a case study of Dandora area in Embakasi constituency in Nairobi Province. Nairobi like other developing world cities is characterized by rapid population growth and urbanization hence vast amounts of solid waste that are generated and dumped in the city untreated. The increase in solid waste generation has not been accompanied by an equivalent increase in the capacity of the relevant urban authorities to deal with this problem. There is an urgent need for new methods of waste handling and promoting fuller environmental awareness. Dandora has an estimated population of 110,164 and has a land area of 4square kilometres with approximately 27,541 persons per square kilometre. Dandora is located East of the city in Embakasi Division and borders Kasarani Division to the North, a division which comprises poor neighbourhood such as Korogocho and Kariobangi. The three neighbourhoods of Dandora, Kairobangi and Korogocho are estimated to host over a quarter of a million residents. However, the study is restricted to Dandora phase two due to the high population and proximity to the dump site by the Nairobi City Council. The general objective of the study was to assess the contribution of the community and government in trying to combat the pollution problem in Dandora. The specific objectives include:- To establish the extent solid waste pollution has impacted on the lives of the residents of Dandora. To find out the perception and attitudes of the residents of Dandora towards solid waste mar:agement problems. Identify and appraise community mechanisms for solid waste management with the aim of suggesting more guidelines. The study adopted both probability and non-probability sampling techniques. Data collection methods and instruments included structured questionnaires, field observations and personal interviews. This study had a total of 68 respondents all residents of Dandora phase one. Descriptive technique was used to organize, summarise and interpret quantitative information. Data was presented in form of frequency tables. The benefits to the residents are short term compared to the large and complex social and economic effects that the dumpsite has on the residents of Dandora. Some benefits such as composting and recycling of plastics and metals that are sold to dealers can be seen as short term. In the long term the impact of pollution to the environment has caused the residents to suffer from such diseases as respiratory tract irritation affecting! It was also noted that the level of awareness about pollution is also very high among the residents with 89.7% of residents saying they are aware of the pollution problem. 79.4 % of the residents said pollution was a big problem in Dandora with the blame resting squarely on the government and the Nairobi city council. 76.5% of the residents said the pollution problem is still increasing this is seen as a result of increase in population and improvement of the economy therefore more consumerism. The community identified some community coping mechanisms like the presence of CBO's that helped in cleaning the environment and benefits derived from recycling some of the wastes like plastics and metals and composting which they sell to farmers. Some suggestions they came up with were like more environmental education or sensitization that will help them to influence change through choosing of leaders who will champion their rights and grievances. Through education they will also be more aware of the health hazards that emanate from the dumpsite and be able to make informed decisions. From the findings we can conclude that social impacts are serious since many school going children have dropped out of school to go and work in the dumpsite to earn a living. Children should be encouraged to go back to school in order to be able to reduce illiteracy among the residents of Dandora. Crime rate is high and this has affected people living in Dandora. There should be a better way of handling crime in the area so as to discourage those children who drop out of school joining with criminals because of being with them within the dump site. To stop the high school drop out the children should be facilitated to return to school and access vocational and skills training. They should be take to homes where they can be able access to food, they should also be educated on peer influence. Equipped with the vocational and skills training they should be encouraged to earn their living hence reduction of poverty in the region. HIV/Aids awareness should be enhanced in the region and assistant the orphaned children to continue with the schooling instead of dropping out of school. Some recommendations were drawn as follows that various actors involved in waste management including NCC, Ministry of local government, Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, National Environment Management Authority, NOO's and CBO's need to come up with a broad policy document similar to the White Paper on Integration Pollution and Waste Management in South Africa that will aim at eradicating pollution and ensuring that citizens of Dandora don't suffer unnecessarily due to the fumes emanating from the dumpsite. Investment in incarnation should be explored in the treatment of solid waste as compared to the current method of open pit dumping and combustion, which has exacerbated the pollution problem. The cost of putting up an incinerator is huge and therefore privatization would be a viable option. The recycling of some wastes like plastics and metals and composing should be encouraged from the source of the wastes. A change of attitudes on the consumers to segregate the wastes from the household level will reduce the levels of pollution. Stakeholders in Nairobi's solid waste management sector, for example, have demonstrated the robustness of the criteria. According to them, economic instruments appropriate for the sector are those that are politically acceptable and ensure support to the people living around the dump site. Promote poverty reduction, employment and economic growth. Further Recommendations for the dump site include removal of the dumpsite from Dandora to a non-residential area. The use of the waste to generate energy that can be used in many households has being practiced in developed countries like Britain, we can borrow a leaf and ensure we turn this waste into a viable energy resource for the country to supplement the existing energy supplies.
xmlui.dri2xhtml.METS-1.0.item-description-sponsorshipUniversity of Nairobi
Department of Sociology, University of Nairobi
SubjectSolid waste pollution
Nairobi City Council