Factors influencing solid waste management in Nakuru Municipality, Kenya
Obuya, Rose A
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Municipal solid waste management (MSWM) is a major responsibility of local governments, typically consuming between 20010 and 50% of municipal budgets in developing countries. It is a complex task which depends as much upon organization and cooperation between households, communities, private enterprises and municipal authorities as it does upon the selection and application of appropriate technical solutions for waste collection, transfer, recycling and disposal. Systems for transfer, recycling and/or disposal of solid waste are unsatisfactory from the environmental, economic and financial points of view. In recent years, MSWM has attracted increasing attention from bilateral and multilateral development agencies, due to the mounting urgency of urban environmental problems and increasing concern for capacity building at the level of municipal management. With its broad organizational implications and close links to other sectors, MSWM constitutes an important entry point for integrated urban management support. The purpose of this study was to examine the underlying factors influencing solid waste management in Nakuru Municipality, Kenya. To accomplish this objective, an investigation of the role played by key factors such as human and financial resource capacity, choice of technology and Public Private Partnership among the key stakeholders (Municipal Council, Households and Private sector) in the.management of municipal solid waste was done. The study was supported by a comprehensive literature review section in chapter two. Data was collected by aid of questionnaires and analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) software. Descriptive statistics (means, frequencies) and non-parametric tests (Friedman tests) were computed. The study established that the Municipal Council of Nakuru had limited financial resources and inadequate personnel. It also established that there was an MCN by-law which required the residents and other solid waste generators to pay user charges. The MCN staff was fully responsible for collecting the charges mainly through market entry gate charges and during acquisition of business permits. Whereas plastic wastes and food wastes were the major components of the solid wastes generated within the Municipality, there were no effective technologies for collection, storage, transfer and disposal of these wastes. The study findings also indicated that the private sector played a complementary role in partnering with the municipal council in solid waste management. Following these findings the study therefore recommended that the Government of Kenya through the Ministry of Environment should spearhead policy reforms for solid waste management in the country and also aim at promoting more collaboration with corporate bodies to help build the capacity of service providers. It also recommended that members of the public should be educated on the importance of minimizing wastes through reuse of certain products while the MCN employees in the environment department should be trained on issues related to integrated solid wastes management namely reduce, reuse, recover and recycle. It is hoped that the findings of this study will help raise awareness on issues pertaining to garbage management in the country. This awareness may help build initiatives and strategies to reduce the problem. This study's findings may provide essential information to the Municipal Council ofNakuru and other municipalities on better strategies of managing waste by improving their financial, human and technological resource base and also strengthening their relationship with private sector partners. The government could also use this information to enact appropriate laws at the policy level to enhance effective solid waste management in the country.