Effectiveness of waste management strategies on environmental health, the case of Meru Municipality
Waste management constitutes a major problem in many third world cities. Most cities do not collect the totality of wastes generated, and of the wastes collected only a fraction receive proper disposal. This represent a source of water, land and air pollution and poise risk to the environmental health. This trend is expected to persist in the developing world thereby considerably deteriorating the situation. Cities on the other hand spend resources to improve their waste management. However the strategies employed at times are not effective hence impact negatively to environmental health. The research project aimed at assessing the effectiveness of waste management strategies on environmental health, the case of Meru Municipality. It is a study that involved major categories of various economic activities in the Meru Municipality. Assessing the effectiveness of present waste management strategies on the environment health implies that urgent steps may be required to upgrade or improve the strategies if they are found not to be effective and further measures for sustainability if they are found to be effective and impacting positively to environmental health. This research project therefore focused on the current state of affairs. The research analyzed the waste management strategies, and their effectiveness and impact on environmental health. Descriptive research design, and more specifically a survey design was employed. This in a nutshell involved in depth analysis of the effectiveness of the waste management strategies and their ultimate impact on environmental health. Data was analyzed using statistical package for social sciences (SPSS). The findings and recommendations of this study may significantly contribute to enhancement and fostering of the environmental health. Fundamentally, the research findings availed key information towards implementing Kenya's Economic Blue Print Vision 2030 and accomplishment of the Global Millenium Development Goals by 2015. More than half of the solid waste generated in Meru consists of organic matter. It was established that waste collection services were provided only sporadically to low-income areas because of poor accessibility and very high waste generation which cannot be handled with available vehicles and equipment. Similarly, the Municipal Council of Meru experienced inadequate financing, lacked a policy on waste reduction and on involving community groups in waste management. In conclusion, municipal solid waste issues represent major problems to the governments of developing nations. As poorer nations grow and develop, improvements in infrastructure and technology should help to overcome barriers to the safe disposal of urban waste. Environmental regulations, intelligently designed to protect the health and integrity of ecosystems and human populations, should be created and enforced now in order to prevent the need for costly remediation measures in the future. The study recommends increasing the number of employees, facilities and equipments and maintaining the drainage/sewer system, educating the public on waste management to create awareness in the community to advocate and encourage the use of proper waste disposal and handling and strict enforcement of the rules and regulation guarding waste management.