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Waste Manag. 2006;26(1):92-100. Epub 2005 Jul 11.

Municipal solid waste management challenges in developing countries--Kenyan case study.

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College of Environment and Resources, Jilin University, Changchun 130026, China.


This paper provides an overview of the state of municipal solid waste management (MSWM) by local authorities in Kenya as a case study of a low-income developing country. Approaches of possible solutions that can be undertaken to improve municipal solid waste (MSW) services are discussed. Poor economic growth (1.1% in 1993) has resulted in an increase in the poverty level which presently stands at 56%. Migration from the rural areas to the urban areas has resulted in unplanned settlements in suburban areas accommodating about 60% of the urban population on only 5% urban land area. Political interference also hampers smooth running of local authorities. Vulnerability of pollution of surface and groundwater is high because local authorities rarely considered environmental impact in siting MSW disposal sites. Illegal dumping of MSW on the river banks or on the roadside poses environmental and economic threats on nearby properties. Poor servicing of MSW collection vehicles, poor state of infrastructure and the lack of adequate funding militate against optimization of MSW disposal service. The rural economy needs to be improved if rural-urban migration is to be managed. Involvement of stakeholders is important to achieve any meaningful and sustainable MSWM. The role of the informal sector through community-based organizations (CBOs), Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and the private sector in offering solutions towards improvement of MSWM also is explored.

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