Nairobi, 5 February 2021 – UN-Habitat and the Kenya Alliance of Residents Association (KARA) distributed 400 items of personal protective equipment including masks and gloves to waste pickers working in the Dandora dumpsite.

The distribution was under UN-Habitat and KARA’s project to prevent the spread of COVID-19 through the African Clean Cities Platform with funding from Japan’s Ministry of the Environment. Kenya Association of Waste Recyclers (KAWR) and Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) were involved identifying the waste pickers involved and other activities.

Representatives from waste picker groups were handed the equipment which was then distributed to the individuals. Two more distributions for another 800 waste pickers will take place in the next few weeks.

“It is critical to protect waste pickers’ health and safety as they are working in hazardous conditions to mitigate the risks of contracting COVID-19,” said Henry Ochieng, CEO of KARA.

Richard Kainika, Secretary Genera of the Waste Recyclers,( KAWR) added: “Waste pickers play an important role in the waste value chain in Kenya by delivering input material for the recycling industry.”

The project encourages all the waste pickers in the dumpsite to properly use PPEs and practice frequent hand washing.

During the distribution, a message from the Japanese Ministry was read out stating: “A hand washing station is not only the immediate response to our urgent challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic, but also medium to long term countermeasures to improve the sanitation status of this area under the proper use.”