Reuben Mwambingu @reubenmwambingu
Mombasa is choking in stench from decomposing mounds of garbage, a situation which has been compounded by the ongoing rains. According to residents, the closure of garbage collection points by the county government as well as restriction of garbage collection to few “licensed garbage collectors” has complicated matters of garbage management.
“Closing down of garbage collection points was unnecessary and ill-advised because now people are dumping garbage haphazardly…this has made the situation worse because now the entire county is choking in garbage and foul smell,” said Ramadhan Babusa, who runs a fish store in Majengo area in the Central business District (CBD).
In what the county government said was a move to end the woes on garbage, Environment executive Godfrey Nato announced closure of several garbage collection points within and outside the Island, and vowed to crack the whip on the errant members of the public, who fail to comply with the Waste Management Act of 2017.
While insisting that defaulters will be slapped with penalties of either Sh50,000 or six months imprisonment, Nato also declared war on “unlicensed” waste collectors. He said he had established more than 54 illegal garbage points which have contributed to the soaring garbage problem in the county.
The move, however, appears to have done little in solving the garbage problem in the county but has opened a can of worms on the issue with some residents left with nowhere to dump their waste.
“If nearby collection points have been closed, and we are being asked to get a licence to be allowed to dump, what do you think we should do? This is why garbage management is almost getting out of hand,” said Abdallah Juma, a resident of Shauri Yako in Kongowea. Another resident said garbage has deprived them of their freedoms.
“The garbage has blocked all the drainage systems around and whenever it rains, our Mosque gets flooded. It then becomes difficult for us to pray yet we are supposed to pray five times a day. We have changed Mosque carpet twice because of floods,” said Mariam Juma.