The Expansive Gioto Dumping Site in Nakuru County has been a menace for both the residents and the then Municipal Council after it failed to secure an alternative land to relocate it due to its effect on environmental pollution but one woman have beaten all odds to create wealth from the filthy dumpsite.
Hundreds of families have informal settlements in the dump site and most of them depend on the food remnants disposed there from hotels and other by rearing pigs.
But a widow and a mother of 6 kids Rachael Mburu have found an avenue of conserving the environment and creating employment to over 20 people in an industry she has put in place that involve recycling the plastic waste that is collected at the dump site.
Apart from securing employment for women in the slum, she has managed to educate her 6 kids where 2 have completed high school while two are in form three.
“There is no dirty money because even after spending years in working with garbage and wastes, I have managed to purchase two plots where one is full constructed residential houses and the other one is in the course” Ms Mburu said.
Gioto Dumping site according to the Director of National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) in Nakuru County Mr. Cliff Barach, is not supposed to be used by the Municipal Council because they are not licensed and it is posing health risk and air pollution to the public.
“The dump site is not licensed hence the Municipal Council of Nakuru is not supposed to dump the garbage there and the problem is big than meet the eye because people do not understand that.” Mr. Barach said.
In the bid to eliminate and avert pollution, there have been calls from different stakeholders for a solid waste management to eliminate the filthy Gioto dumpsite the project which was targeted to rehabilitate the expansive Gioto garbage in London along Nakuru Kabarak road and transform it to a sanitary land fill but due to lack of land and poor leadership the dissolved local government did not manage.
Ms Mburu who is an entrepreneur and a breadwinner to over 20 employees, she has also offered a solution to the disposal of non-biodegradable waste which remains a challenge to the country at large.
To avert the non-biodegradable waste from occupying huge space and also cause environmental pollution, she has started the initiative to recycle them where she later sells them in Nairobi and Kisumu where they are later exported.
“I purchase the plastic waste from small scale dealers around and later the workers select them according to the nature of each plastic material and colours where they are either compressed by a machine or grinded so as to occupy small space during transportation.” Ms Mburu said.
Working at the site calls for sacrifice and passion according to Ms Mburu because the work is tiresome and one have to be extremely dirty but at the end one can be able to earn a living from it instead of being dependant.
With the coming of the County government where job opportunities are key issue, the entrepreneur woman notes that leaders should utilize such opportunities by providing equipments and machine that will help in making cups, basin and ready market instead of exporting the raw materials.
According to the worker Ms Lilian Opete, she has been working for the last 7 years and has managed to educate and earn a decent living and distance her from being dependant.
“We have elected our leaders who should assist such this entrepreneur woman who have worked tirelessly to assist other people by providing financial and material support so as to create hundreds of jobs to the youths in the Gioto area.” Ms Opete said.
She said local market should be availed and by doing so this will help the recycled materials being processed and used to make products that Kenyans can buy and develop local industries.
The challenges has remain that some products like motor oil, pesticides, batteries and paint are potentially hazardous to sanitation workers and the general population as a whole and they are also more dangerous to the environment than inert materials like plastic or rubber.
The newly elected London County Assembly Member Francis Njoroge has assured the entrepreneur his support to improve the condition to a modern facility which will accommodate youths in the slum.
“I will be able to table motions in the County Assembly which will be to open the Dump site to a landfill and also measures to conserve the environment from pollution.” Njoroge said.
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