Influence of socio-economic factors on the relocation of Dandora dumping site in Nairobi, Kenya
Wa'Munga, Paul O
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Environmental sustainability is hugely dependent on proper waste management. Over the past eight years, government of Kenya has had plans to relocate the Dandora dumping site to the relatively less populated areas of Ruai. This study sought to evaluate how socio-economic factors influence the relocation of the Dandora dumping site. The study sample of 120 was drawn both from the dumping site and the four adjacent residential areas of Dandora, Korogocho, Babadogo and Kariobangi and data collected through administering a pre-coded structured questionnaire to this sample. Most respondents had worked at the site for more than four years mainly because they did not have any other job from which to earn income. Sorting and selling recyclables and small scale business are the most prominent economic activity in the area and majority of the respondents are low income earners making a daily income of K.Shs 500 and below. Respiratory and intestinal problems are the major diseases posed by the presence of the dumping site. Furthermore, insecurity is high in the area as a result of the dumping site, with more than half the respondents saying the area is highly insecure and that trade in illegal drugs tops the list of crimes rampant in the area. Increasing police patrols, constructing a police post near the dumping site and relocating the dumping site are some of the proposed solutions to the insecurity in the area. The findings of this study and other prior studies suggest there are economic, disease and security implications of setting up a dumping site or relocating an existing one. Although there are economic benefits to those involved in the waste recycling chain, usually the dumping site pose serious environmental, health (disease incidence) and security threats to the persons living around it. Based on the international requirements on the management of dumping sites and landfills, relocation of the Dandora dumping site is long overdue. In addition, this study has revealed that although the site is a source of livelihood to those involved in waste recycling and some of the people living around the site, disease and security implications, especially given its proximity to residential areas, far outweigh the former. Even those who derive economic benefits from the site still spend much of their income on medication for illnesses attributable to the dumping site. In view of the rapidly increasing population of Nairobi, the increasing amount of waste being produced and the findings of this study and other prior studies, it becomes appropriate to relocate the dumping site to Kayole/Ruai area in order to avert the resultant disease and security concerns.