A boost for Kisumu’s fight against open-air waste burning

UK-based Practical Action, a non-state entity, has taken a step to help Kisumu City in combating the global menace of open garbage disposal and open-air burning.

With a grant of Kes31 million ($230,000), Practical Action aims to address the hazardous practice of open burning of solid waste in the lake side city.

The grant, dedicated to ending the harmful practice of open burning, highlights the catastrophic impact of such practices on human health and the environment.

This initiative is part of a larger Kes180 million global project cutting across three continents—Latin America, Africa, and Asia. Financially backed by the United Nations Environment Programme’s Climate and Clean Air Coalition, the project involves a consortium of five companies entrusted with its execution.

Kenya, from the Dandora landfill in the capital Nairobi, is one of the countries grappling with dangerous dumping sites that contribute significantly to air pollution.

Read also: US firm setting up Kes1.6Bn drug plant in Kisumu

Solid waste disposal

In Kisumu, where a staggering 252 tonnes of solid waste are generated daily, open dumping and burning on streets and dumpsites have posed severe environmental threats and health hazards.

Practical Action’s Head of Urban Services, Lucy Stevens, said that the issue remains severe, citing its adverse effects on the respiratory health for millions of people from low-income families.

She lauded the NGO’s global collaboration efforts in developing and testing practical solutions, stating, “Together with our partners, we will develop and test practical solutions, while also being part of regional and global consultations to improve guidance for countries and encourage more finance to flow to this neglected issue.”

The project’s goals in Kisumu include a reduction in open burning of waste to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, providing practical waste management solutions, and equipping relevant bodies with tools and information to implement strategies that diminish toxic emissions.

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