A study of the build up of waste by unclaimed vehicles in Police stations' yards in Kenya a case study of Nairobi Area, Kenya
Muiruri, Joseph K
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Vehicles are essential to society and are continually increasing in use. In Kenya, road transport accounts for 93% of passenger and freight mobility with over 1.3 million registered vehicles. The vehicles often come to the end of their useful lives and stockpiles of unclaimed end of life vehicles are a common sight in police stations' yards in Kenya. Wastes associated with vehicles include engine and hydraulic oil, batteries, heavy metals, air conditioning gases and radiator fluids. Although, end of life vehicles have the potential to pollute the environment they are also recyclable resources. To understand this waste management problem, this study was carried out in Nairobi, Kenya, aiming at investigating into the nature and extent, contributing factors, cost implications, environmental impacts of unclaimed vehicles in police stations' yards and at giving recommendations based on the findings. The hypotheses state that there is no significant difference in the build up of unclaimed vehicles among the police stations by vehicle type; the build up of unclaimed vehicles is independent of the location of the police station and there is no significant relationship between unclaimed non-operational vehicles and unclaimed operational vehicles in police stations' yards in Kenya. The study adopted a descriptive survey method. Standardized questionnaires were used on 118 respondents from 24 police stations selected through stratified random sampling and simple random sampling techniques, respectively. To make the findings stronger, 21 individuals representing seven relevant stakeholders were selected through purposive, multistage sampling technique. An interview schedule was used to obtain stakeholders' views on unclaimed vehicles. Data collected were analyzed using Descriptive statistics, Chi-square, Kruskal Wallis Htest, Spearman's rank correlation and cross case analysis. Two hundred and fourteen vehicles were unclaimed with passenger cars and matatus being predominant types at 42% and 24%, respectively. 86% were non-operational vehicles while 14% were operational vehicles impounded due to traffic rules infringement. The study identified key contributing factors to the problem as insurance claims; delayed cOUli cases; high fines, unpaid towing charges and corruption (bribery). The cost implications of this problem included un-recovered towing charges storage charges and cost of disposal. The enviromnental impacts included contamination of land and water supplies by leaking fluids e.g. engine oil, possible injuries due to lusting broken vehicle parts, potential health hazard risks to children living within the police stations, breeding places for rodents, mosquitoes and other pathogens. The vehicles also cause obstruction (visual pollution). Unclaimed vehicles' problem requires immediate decisions and actions in order to curb it or else it will get worse as motorization and population increases rapidly. The results of this study could be an insight to the policy makers to develop realistic and effective strategies to address this issue. This study recommends development of a specific national policy on unclaimed vehicles as a key strategy. However, the study does not claim credit for exhaustively discussing unclaimed vehicles but indicates need for further research on this rapidly growing waste management problem. The fact that the study indicates need for further research must be seen as a positive outcome ofthe study.