Planning for Urban Solid Waste Management in the Informal Settlements: A Case Study of Langas Settlement in Eldoret Municipality

Solid waste management is one of the major responsibilities of local governments world over. The responsibility is complex and depends very much on organization and cooperation between households, private enterprises and municipal authorities. Successful solid waste management also depends on wise identification and application of appropriate technical solutions in waste collection at generation points, transfer, recycling and disposal. Yet still, waste management is an essential task which must be performed, but at the same time expose those involved to causes of ill health.

 

The first goal of solid waste management is to promote the health of urban population, especially low-income groups. Second, solid waste management aims at promoting environmental quality by controlling pollution. Third, it supports urban economic development by creating demand for waste management services and ensuring the efficient use and conservation of valuable materials and resources. Finally, it aims at creating employment and incomes for those engaged in the sector. In all informal settlements within Eldoret Municipality, solid waste management is inadequate. The insufficient collection and inappropriate disposal of solid wastes represent a source of pollution and a risk to human health in these settlements.

The study is set to investigate the factors limiting an effective domestic and commercial solid waste management in the informal settlements within the municipality, with Langas as a case study. It utilizes both primary and secondary sources of data. Methodological approach adopted for primary data collection involved the administration of questionnaires to the officials of the council as well as sampled households and business operators in Langas.

 

To find out the factors limiting a sustainable solid waste management in the informal settlements within the municipality, the study begins by systematically investigating the role of Eldoret Municipal Council towards the service delivery. It equally explores the extent of community participation in solid waste management in Langas as undertaken by households and business operators.

The study found out that Eldoret Municipal Council has failed to effectively discharge its duty as the major planning institution responsible for the service delivery in all the informal settlements within the municipality. The council has apparently failed to execute all the major processes within the solid waste management cycle that encompasses storage, collection, transportation, resource recovery, safe disposal as well as financing among others. Similarly, the study established that community participation in solid waste management in Langas, as practiced by households and business operators is limited; hence further compounding solid waste menace.

In view of the major findings, the study concludes that domestic and commercial solid waste management in the informal settlements within the municipality is unsatisfactory. It hence settles down on key policy recommendations that inculcate both institutional and technical planning approaches. These are envisioned as the most critical components for a strategic planning and management for the service delivery in the informal settlements within the municipality.

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