CHALLENGES OF SOLID WASTE DISPOSAL SITES AND THEIR IMPACTS ON THE NEIGHBOURHOOD LAND USES: A CASE STUDY OF NGONG DUMPSITE IN NGONG TOWNSHIP.

ABSTRACT

Solid waste management is currently one of the main challenges facing Local authorities and other stakeholders who have been mandated to ensure that there is a sustainable solid waste management system. Its poor management has posed severe social, economical and environmental challenges as well as impacts especially in cities and other urban areas due to rapid urbanisation and high population growth rate in such areas.

 

This study focuses on the final stage in solid waste management process, the disposal stage. It examines the challenges of disposal sites as well as the impacts of the disposal sites on the neighbourhood land uses and the community as a whole using Ngong dumpsite as a case study. The dumpsite is geographically located in Kajiado County, Ngong Ward at Ngong Town. It is a public dumpsite managed by the County Council of Ole Kajuado.

 

The main objectives of this study were to examine the challenges facing Ngong dumpsite over time, land use conflicts existing between the dumpsite and its neighbourhood land uses, the impacts of the dumpsite on the surrounding environment and the existing institutional and policy frameworks. In order to achieve these objectives, the study used various research methods to obtain both secondary and primary data that enabled the effective completion of the research project.  Secondary data was collected from review of books, journals, newspapers, magazines, previous studies on solid waste management – thesis, papers and reports, policies, regulations, development plans, laws and by-laws on solid waste management. Primary data was collected through observation of activities at the site, interviews of heads/spouses of households and officers in institutions within a 500m radius from the dumpsite, key informants, photography, mapping and sketch ups. A sample of 60 randomly selected households, 15 dumpsite scavengers and 10 learning and institutions were interviewed.

After the field survey, the study found that floods, lack of drainage ditches,  poor management of Ngong dumpsite by responsible authorities, lack of effective implementation of relevant solid waste management regulations, land use conflicts, poor geographical location of the dumpsite, ineffective recycling process at the site, waste scavenging, and inadequate disposal facilities are the major challenges facing the dumpsite. Its main impacts on the entire surrounding environment include: air and water pollution, health risks, interruption education of Ngong residents, poor sanitation, enhancement of insecurity and encroachment by human informal settlement.

The study also established some of the measures in place to curb the negative impact of the dumpsite. It was found that there is regular visiting of health centres by residents for treatment of increased sicknesses, planting of more trees for fresh air, applying pesticides to eliminate and prevent flies from the site, digging ditches to divert leachate from entering houses, demonstrations for a relocation of the dumpsite by religious and learning institutions around it, adapting to the situation, encouraging people on the safe methods of solid waste disposal are some of the measures the residents of Ngong have put in place.

On the future scenarios of the dumpsite, 80% of those who responded indicated that the dumpsite should be completely relocated. This led to various recommendations on the dumpsite including relocation of the dumpsite and converting the new site into a sanitary landfill. Last but not least, the study recommended for re – organisation and reframing of the institutional framework for solid waste management in order to have an effective solid waste management system that aims at achieving Kenya’s vision 2030.

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