Practical Action: Waste Recycling In Nakuru, Kenya

When it comes to the topic of recycling, especially in developing nations, efforts towards environmental sustainability, and resource management have recently been on the forefront of conversations as adverse environmental impacts present  major concerns in contaminated areas due to improper waste management practices. Practical Action East Africa, in collaboration with Egerton University have recently been carrying out training in Integrated Solid Waste Management in Nakuru, Kenya. This training is aimed at small-scale service providers and municipal council officers in efforts to improve living conditions and create jobs through effective and integrated sustainable solid waste management.

The training’s objectives included:

  • improve the living and working conditions, particularly in low-income settlements, by improving capacity to deliver basic solid waste management services
  • increase employment opportunities and higher income for small enterprises and community organisations
  • provide technical, entrepreneurial and related skills to manage solid waste
  • change attitudes to promote solid waste management as a respectable sector

Practical Action is working closely with a group of solid waste collectors known Nakuru Waste Collectors and Recyclers Management (NAWACOM), which has a membership of 146. Such community-based organisations plays an important role in waste management throughout the municipality.

NAWACOM complements the municipal council’s efforts by reducing the amount of waste to be collected as they retrieve the reusable materials. These efforts also serves as a source of income as the collectors sell the recyclable materials to manufacturers.

Practical Action supported Nakuru municipal council’s 2005 workshop for local policy makers on Integrated Environmental Management, which aimed to map out roles in improving the environment.

Research shows that the viability and sustainability of recycling and formal waste management in developing nations is not only environmentally beneficial but also provides socio-economic incentives to the surrounding areas.  Therefore, it is highly encouraged to maintain and increase these formal waste management organizations for the benefit of the environment as well as the community.

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Winnie Okello

About Winnie Okello

I Graduated from Bucknell University with a B.Sc. in Civil Engineering. I Currently work in the Transportation Sector where I oversee The Strategic Recycling Program for promoting, and facilitating the use of recycled materials in civil engineering applications. I also facilitate the state-wide stormwater management program and regulatory compliance assurance within the transportation sector. Areas of Specialty: Civil -(Roadway & structural analysis) & Environmental Engineering, Water Resources, Environmental/ Regulatory Compliance, Sustainability, Materials Recycling, Research, and implementation.