Towards A Policy for Better Private Sector Participation in Solid Waste Management in Nairobi City, Kenya


This study is an attempt to come up with comprehensive policy proposals aimed at improving private sector participation in solid waste management in the city of Nairobi. It was felt that by reconciling findings from the three main sectors that may influence how the private sector performs in SWM in Nairobi (i. e. the households, the local authority and the private sector) it would be possible to come up with workable policy proposals aimed at better involvement of the private sector in SWM in the city. It involved carrying out an investigation into the key domestic solid, waste generation parameters that may affect performance of the private sector in SWM in the city, documentation of the efforts the City Council of Nairobi; especially the environment department, is making towards better involvement of the private sector in SWM in the city, and an evaluative study on the operational capacity of the private sector in providing SWM services in the city.

The study established that contracting which is currently being tried by the city council is riddled with corruption and nepotism within the city council. On the other hand low returns and difficulties in collecting user charges hampers smooth penetration of the private sector into the very poor zones of the city through open competition. Open competition is also ruled out in such zones mainly due to lack of proper monitoring and controls, which leads to illegal dumping of waste. As a result a three tier

process is recommended whereby contracting combined with normal city council operations, use of Community Based Organizations (CBOs) and awareness creation is carried out in the very poor areas, franchising is used in the middle-income areas and open competition in the wealthy zones. Franchising in the middle-income zones will ensure self regulation among the franchised firms out of fear of losing their franchises hence they are likely to be more cautious in their operations. Open competition would work more efficiently in the wealthy areas where the willingness and the ability to pay are well grounded. It is also likely to translate into lower charges. There is also need to support the private sector through funding, lower taxes on equipment and training.

It is believed that the above proposals, if properly implemented, can lead to improved performance of the private sector in SWM in Nairobi.

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