Kutoka Network together with local communities and other relevant stakeholders is very worried about the current situation of the Dandora Municipal Dumpsite. This lead the network and its partners to start a campaign aimed to open a dialogue with relevant institutional actors which can solve this problem. The name of the campaign which expresses the urgency of this issue is ‘‘Stop Dumping Death On Us.
We have the Right to Live Too’’.
Nairobi has over 4,000,000 inhabitants and just one dumping site.
There is no legal framework for solid waste management.
More than 2,000 tonnes of rubbish are brought here every day
This dumping site, covering 30 acres, has been located in a poor residential area for over 30 years
In 2001, it was declared full and a health hazard for the neighbouring population
Chemical, hospital, industrial, agricultural and domestic waste is dumped here and left unprocessed
Due to the lack of space, people are obliged to burn the waste
Toxic fumes continuously contaminate the air
This issue is closely linked to various interests and illegal activities
The Nairobi River borders the dumping site, and its water is highly contaminated
Over 900,000 people are directly affected by this dumping site
What are the consequences?
UNEP has recently completed a study on the dumping site and its impact on public health. The research discovered a shocking truth: the dumping site is a major source of dioxins, furans, lead and cadmium which are highly toxic for human beings.
These elements cause irreversible damage to the immune, nervous, endocrine and reproductive systems.
Respiratory, gastro-intestinal and skin diseases, anaemia and different kinds of cancers are just a few of the diseases shown to be caused by the dumping site.
Half of the children tested during the research had concentrations of lead in their blood exceeding international accepted levels.
Half of them were also suffering from respiratory diseases, including chronic bronchitis and asthma.
This situation is also affecting the learning process of the kids in the area.
Data from only one dispensary in Kariobangi show that, since 2006, the number of patients who have been treated for respiratory tract abnormalities has quadrupled. More than 20,000 patients in the last 6 months.
Every day thousands of people use the dumping site to find food and recyclables to sell to the industries.
Even people living far from the dumpsite are affected by consuming contaminated food. Pigs, cows, chickens and goats are feeding inside the dumping site, while people are growing vegetables on contaminated soil, nearby the polluted water of Nairobi River, and selling the vegetables to the local markets.
Why have we started the current campaign?
In 2001, when the dumping site was declared full and a health hazard, a campaign began for its relocation.
Many steps have been taken so far: studies, demonstrations, and petitions.
The government authorities have promised several times to take appropriate action but the post-election violence shifted their priorities.
Now is the right time to take immediate action: in the last three months the dumping site and its smoke have reached unprecedentedly high levels.
Approximately 80% of the waste is recyclable
recycling offers economic and employment opportunities
many donors and UN agencies are willing to fund a proper solid waste management system
The Government has started a programme to clean up the Nairobi River which borders the dumpsite.
The Government is implementing a slum upgrading programme in Korogocho aimed at improving the living conditions of residents.
What is the campaign proposing?
The campaign proposes to:
immediately close the Dandora dumping site
create a policy for waste management
create recycling infrastructures and formal employment for the people currently working around the dumping site
relocate the dumping site into a non-residential area where only the non-recyclable waste will be dumped
reclaim and decontaminate the Dandora area
on 10th December 2009, World Human Rights Day. The campaign invites you to take part in a public forum in Korogocho involving the key stakeholders to discuss solutions to this human rights violation.
Who can join and support this campaign?
Individuals and organisations which share our concerns are free to join our campaign. We need you to join us.
For joining or for more info, drop us an e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or call our coordinator Fr. John Webootsa 0715 112918 or 0736622093