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Nairobi Urgently Needs to Manage Her Waste Better

Nairobi waste management

Nairobi, the capital of Kenya, a city once known for its beauty, is now grappling with a severe waste management issue. Garbage litters many areas within the city, tarnishing its once pristine image. As you drive into the CBD from Thika Road, you are immediately greeted by an unsightly pile of trash at the Globe roundabout, right next to the Nairobi River. It’s disheartening to witness such pollution next to a water source, with the river’s once-clear waters now appearing grey and contaminated.


Nairobi derives its name from the Maasai phrase “Enkare Nyrobi,” meaning “cool water” or “the place of cool waters” in Maa. Situated at an elevation of 1,700 meters, it is the highest city in East Africa. This modern and rapidly growing metropolis was once an uninhabited swamp until the British established a supply depot in 1899, linking Mombasa to Uganda. Since then, Nairobi has transformed dramatically and now faces significant pollution challenges, which contrast sharply with the serene image suggested by its name.

Nairobi waste
Garbage on the streets of Nairobi. Credit: Nairobi News

If you’re a resident of Nairobi, chances are you’ve encountered similar scenes of waste accumulation in your neighbourhood. The situation may seem overwhelming, but remember, change begins with individual actions. You can take the first step towards addressing this issue by supporting a new petition that calls upon the leadership in Nairobi County to take decisive action.

This petition, championed by Ms. Tanui, Ms. Bullut, and Mr. Lomole, aims to bring about tangible change. Their campaign includes establishing designated collection points for recyclable materials such as glass, paper, metal, and plastic in each of Nairobi’s 17 constituencies. Furthermore, the petition advocates for promoting environmental responsibility and sustainable waste management practices while actively involving the public in these efforts. The petitioners envision a Nairobi where waste is effectively managed, ultimately making the city a healthier and more vibrant place to live.

The current waste management practices have led to the contamination of water bodies, posing significant dangers to both human health and the ecosystem. Additionally, these practices contribute to soil degradation, further exacerbating the environmental impact.

waste segragation
Waste segregation in practice. Credit: Rams Holdings

It is worth noting that there is already a law to address these issues – The Sustainable Waste Management Act 31 of 2022. The petition simply seeks the implementation of this existing law to bring about meaningful change.

To add your voice to this cause, please take a moment to visit and locate the petition. Your support can contribute to a cleaner, healthier Nairobi for all its residents and future generations. Together, we can make a difference and create a more sustainable and vibrant Nairobi City.

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