Along with rapid population growth and urbanization, poor solid waste is emerging as public health risk in Kenya. According to the 2018 report by Urban Africa Risk Knowledge, up to 80% of plastic plus other waste that is generated by households in urban slum areas in Kenya is disposed poorly in rivers and illegal dumpsites. In Nairobi for instance, up to 2500 tons of waste (50%) generated daily remains uncollected which translates into widespread unsafe disposal in urban river systems.
The disposal of this waste in rivers and river banks has been linked to a wide range of risks including slowing down economic growth, higher incidences of diseases, environmental degradation, and deterioration of the quality of life. The poor disposal of waste in rivers has also resulted into vast amount of ‘plastic soups’ in the Marine environment since rivers are currently the major pathway for the flow of plastic wastes into marine environment.
This project was therefore initiated by Chemolex Limited to provide lasting solution to the marine plastic menace by:
1) Installing innovative plastic capture devices along dispersed locations of River Athi and its tributaries. In addition.
2) Collecting, analyzing and recording data on plastic and other waste captured by the plastic capture devices then utilizing the data to develop policy documents that can be shared with relevant government authorities to inform policy development regarding plastic waste.
3) Create awareness and sensitization within communities on integrated waste management that is centered on the 3Rs (Recycle, Reuse and Reduce). The community sensitization programs provide an opportunity to enlighten Kenyan households on wastes management at the household level.
4) Train and empower community-based organizations, as well as women and youth groups to develop valuable products from different types of waste thus enhancing resource recovery from plastic and other waste that is normally disposed in rivers.
5) Develop an elaborate recycling infrastructure that can recycle the plastic plus other waste that is captured and removed from the plastic capture devices.