The Nairobi Rivers Commission on Friday 1st September launched its strategic Action plan for the transformation of the Nairobi River at Windsor Golf Hotel and Country Club.
This launch comes after President William Ruto set up the Nairobi Rivers Commission(NRC) back in February this year, with the aim of restoring the faded magnificence of the Kenyan capital.
This Action plan includes four main Thematic Action Areas namely; Catchment Protection and Restoration, Riparian Mapping and Land Reclamation, Waste to Rivers consisting of Solid waste, sewage, Institutional and Industrial waste, and lastly Drainage and Hydrology.
”The immediate work will entail clearing accumulated solid waste and addressing ongoing sewerage disposal into the rivers from informal settlements, residential areas, illegal dumping sites and properties along the river corridors,” Mumo Musuva, a commissioner of the NRC said.
“This will be followed by undertaking a publicity campaign and a community sensitization program, developing a community engagement framework,” he added.
Mr. Mumo also added that other tasks will be to provide waste-collection bins, trucks and skip bins for garbage collection to carry waste from informal settlements and residential areas and training communities and actors on the NRC programs and projects.
He also noted that the commission will establish a 24/7 Joint Multi Agency Operations Center (JMAOC) for monitoring and operations, catchment protection and restoration, riparian mapping, resource mobilization, initiate National Environment Day for Cleaning and Garbage (Waste) Collection.
Principal Secretary Devolution Affairs Teresia Mbaiku who also attended the event said, this will plan will ultimately improve urban health and wellbeing, create decent jobs and eco-tourism opportunities.
”It will enhance biodiversity, and support the provision of clean water, sanitation and waste management. The initiative will also be a catalyst for infrastructure development including affordable housing, non-motorized transport and green public spaces, particularly within the vulnerable areas,” she said.
Additionally, the PS, urged stakeholders to take the plan with genuine candidness and internalize that restoring of Nairobi river basin will be a big significant achievement to food security.
She said that the plan will help cleaning the river will improve communities living standards.
“Restoration of Nairobi river is a priority for the government. It is a legacy assignment for President Ruto and as devolution we have identified it as a priority and we are open to partnership for better and lasting results,” she said.
The operation will be done in three phases, taking one to eight months, eight to 24 months and 18 months to six years.
Phase One actions will take one to eight months and will include community sensitisation and education, collection of garbage in informal settlements and built-up areas.
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It will also include a stop to further solid-waste dumping into informal settlement areas, addressing sewerage, industrial or institutional waste in the rivers basin and surrounding areas, river clean-up campaign to address solid waste pollution.
Regulatory bodies that will be part of the plan include : Water Resources Authority (WRA), National Youth Service (NYS), Athi Water Works Development Agency (AWWDA), National Environment Management Authority (NEMA), Kenya National Highways Authority (KENHA).
Others are Kenya Urban Roads Authority (KURA), Kenya Rural Roads Authority (KERRA), National Water Harvesting & Storage Authority (NWHSA), County water utility companies, advisory and other stakeholder groups and National Disaster Operations Centre.