Kenya: Human waste woes in slums
NAIROBI/KISUMU, 27 December 2012 (IRIN) – The odour of human waste is unbearable at the pit latrine behind Nancy Anyango’s house in Manyatta, a sprawling slum in the western Kenya city of Kisumu. Nearby, a heap of rotting garbage lies between long rows of shacks. From a distance, one can hear the flies buzzing.
Photo: Dara Lipton/The Advocacy Project -
A stream in the Kibera slum is used as a dump site for trash and human waste
The open pits exacerbate the threat of disease. They are also a physical risk for children. Only a couple of months ago, Anyango lost her three-year-old son when he fell into one of them while playing with other kids.
“The waste produces a pungent smell, and when it rains, it floods our houses, and we are forced to move out. The lives of our children, too, are in danger because they play inside the filth,” Anyango told IRIN.
Risks to residents
Local government authorities put the slum’s population at 45,000, but they are served by no more than 30 pit latrines. And because people are charged a fee to use the latrines, many opt defecate in the open instead.
Strategic guidelines for improving water and sanitation services in Nairobi’s informal settlements. Water and Sanitation Program, 2009. (pdf, full-text)
Here the Water and Sanitation Program (WSP) introduces the work achieved by the Nairobi City Water and Sewerage Company (NCWSC) and the Athi Water Services Board (AWSB) and their guidelines for water supply and sanitation interventions in informal settlements.
The document starts with an overview of the situation of Nairobi and its informal settlements. Then, technical options for water supply, sanitation, drainage as well as the development of technical capacity and appropriate standards are suggested, along with financial and management options. Finally guiding principles are presented. These include for instance: social, economic and financial principles, institutional and management arrangements, and working with stakeholders.
June 18, 2008: The Nairobi Metropolitan Development ministry has entered into a technical arrangement with Unep to bring rapid results in green initiatives. The two immediate projects on their agenda are cleaning up of the Nairobi River and solid waste management.
Previous attempts to tackle the twin problems suffered from private sector apathy and lack of political will. “I feel this time it will work because of the political commitment which was not previously there,” said Achim Steiner, the Unep executive director.
The new ministry needs up to Sh4 billion to clean-up the 200km stretch covered by the three rivers passing through the capital city.
It also faces the challenge of coming up with innovative ways to manage solid waste which is an eyesore with only one dumping site in Dandora , on the outskirts of the city.
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