Environmental Catastrophe in Kenya

Dandora Dumping Site: The Biggest Human Rights Violation

Nairobi has over 4,000,000 inhabitants and just one dumping site: Dandora. People are obliged to burn the waste and toxic fumes contaminate the air 24 hours a day affecting over 900,000 people.

On the 10th of December 2009, World Human Rights Day, the campaign invites you to take part in a public forum at Korogocho Chief Camp, a space for community members and key institutional stakeholders to look for a way forward.

Nairobi has over 4,000,000 inhabitants and just one dumping site, with no legal framework for solid waste management. Dandora Municipal Dumping Site was declared full and a health hazard for the neighbouring population as far back as 2001. Chemical, hospital, industrial, agricultural and domestic waste is dumped here and left unprocessed. Due to the lack of space, people are obliged to burn the waste and toxic fumes contaminate the air 24 hours a day. Over 900,000 people are directly affected by this dumping site. Those affected by the dumping site are among the poorest people in Kenya. They are not the producers of this waste, who instead live in rich areas far away from this health hazard.

A shocking UNEP report has shown that:

The dumping site causes irreversible damage to the immune, nervous, endocrine and reproductive systems.

Respiratory, gastro-intestinal and skin diseases, anaemia and different kinds of cancers are just a few of the diseases shown to be caused by the dumping site.

Half of the children tested during the research had concentrations of lead in their blood exceeding international accepted levels.

Half of them were also suffering from respiratory diseases, including chronic bronchitis and asthma.

Environmental pollution and impact to public health. Implications of the Dandora Municipal Dumping Site in Nairobi Kenya, UNEP 2007 (you can download this report here)

Over the last few months the dumping and the toxic smoke from the site have reached unbearable levels. This situation has led local communities and their partners to start a campaign aimed at opening a dialogue with the institutional actors who can solve this problem. The campaign is called “Stop Dumping Death On Us. We have the Right to Live Too” and so far has gathered the support of many civil society organisations, UN agencies and prominent politicians.

The campaign proposes to:

Immediately close the Dandora dumping site.

Create a policy for waste management.

Create recycling infrastructures and formal employment for the people currently working around the dumping site. Many studies and plans have already been carried out but none have been implemented.

Relocate the dumping site to a non-residential area where only non-recyclable waste will be dumped.

Reclaim and decontaminate the Dandora area in order to provide a suitable environment for the slum upgrading programme undertaken by the government in Korogocho and to stop the dumping site from being the biggest pollutant of the Nairobi River, which is supposed to be cleaned.

On the 10th of December 2009, World Human Rights Day, the campaign invites you to take part in a public forum at 10 am at Korogocho Chief Camp. The forum aims to provide a space for community members and key institutional stakeholders to look for a way forward. It will be attended by government ministers, Nairobi’s mayor, UNEP representatives and prominent Kenyan politicians. After a press conference at 1 pm participants will be escorted by our security and community leaders to visit the dumping site and listen to the voices of the community. All journalists and media houses are invited.

Attached you will find a leaflet explaining the campaign objectives. You can also see a video presenting the campaign here.

Our website contains other useful information about the campaign: www.kutokanet.com

Should you require more information, please do not hesitate to contact us. Please confirm your presence by email.

Email: [email protected] or call the campaign coordinator, John Webootsa +254 715 112918

The campaign is promoted by: the Elders of Korogocho, the Elders of Dandora, Kutoka Network, Concern, CAFOD, Misereor, ANPPCAN, SANA Coalition, Hon. Elizabeth Ongoro, Hon. Rachel Shebesh, Hon. Ferdinand Waititu.

Articles by: Global Research

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