August 20, 2022

Nairobi City County risk jail time after the National Environment Management Authority (Nema) moved to restore sanity in the garbage mess that the city has been turned to.

In a statement issued on Wednesday 11, March 2020, the authority threatened county officials of prosecution if all garbage was not collected within two days.

“Nema gives Nairobi County 48 hours to clear all the uncollected solid waste that has littered the city,” read the statement in part.


Litter pictured near the Kenya National Archives building in Nairobi on Tuesday, March 3, 2020.


It further requested that the officials responsible table a report on the subsequent cleanup or risk prosecution.

“[County officials should] report on compliance to the Authority within 7 days failure to which officers in charge will be prosecuted,” concluded the statement.

The ultimatum comes days after Nairobi garbage collectors downed their tool in protest on March 3, 2020, over non-payment of wages for over three months.

The disgruntled workers made their grievances known in a dramatic protest on one cloudy Tuesday morning as they marched through Nairobi CBD emptying every bin on their way onto the streets. The workers have not been to work since.

In the month of February, City Hall had announced that it had signed a one-year renewable contract with the National Youth Service (NYS) to help in garbage collection in the capital but the agreement is yet to take effect.

In the ensuing vacuum, city streets have slowly been turning into dumpsites.

City dwellers have had to contend with the mess of overturned trash bins including along Moi Avenue, Tom Mboya Street and parts of Kimathi Street.

On Moi Avenue, for instance, two large trash bins overflowing with garbage sit right next to the Kencom Bus Stop.


Am emptied litter bin in the Nairobi CBD on Tuesday, March 3, 2020.

Am emptied litter bin in the Nairobi CBD on Tuesday, March 3


Garbage collection falls under the environment functions of City Hall, with the Nairobi Governor, Mike Sonko, held responsible for the inefficiencies that continue to ent the face of the city under the sun.

However, after the National government took over key dockets in the county, it remains unclear whether the functions are still within Sonko’s duties or have fallen to the national government. sought clarification from Nairobi’s Environment office on the matter.

“We are waiting for guidance from the national government,” a representative from the office stated.

David Makori is the Chief Officer in the Environmental Department and the man, at least as at now, who Nema could go after if the garbage, that is slowly changing the stained aesthetic of the city, is not collected. 

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