Kenya’s county pilots semi-aerobic landfill1Kiambu, Kenya 24 March 2015—Kiambu County of Kenya made history by becoming the first place in Africa to pilot a landfill based on the “Fukuoka method”. The County Governor Hon. William Kabogo was beaming with joy saying that he felt honoured that UN-Habitat had chosen Kiambu to be the first to pilot the revolutionary semi- aerobic waste management method.

“This is something we are not taking for granted because Kiambu just like many other places in Kenya and indeed Africa, has a big problem addressing waste management,” he said. The project, modeled on the Japanese Fukuoka University’s technology application on solid and liquid waste management is being supported by UN-Habitat, through a joint collaboration with the County Government of Kiambu, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT), Embassy of Sweden and Japan’s Fukuoka University.

The land fill type, has a comparative advantage over other waste management formulae because 70-100 tons of waste will be managed daily in addition to a leachate treatment system. The landfill will be located in Thika town on 5 acres of government land. Prof. Yasushi Matsufuji from Fukuoka University made a video presentation where he explained to those present how the Fukuoka Method works.

“This method has been seen to work better and is now being accepted in very many places,” he said after the presentation. Governor Kabogo, known to be a key confidant of President Uhuru Kenyatta, said he had briefed the head of state on the project and that the president had given his full blessings for the project. “The president is keen on the success of this project that would hopefully be replicated in other parts of the country,” he said.

UN-Habitat's commitment to support Kenya advance in sustainable urban development

Mr. Kabogo assured UN-Habitat and the national government that he would have a dedicated team to run the project and that he was confident it was going to be successful. Speaking on behalf of the agency, the director of the Regional Office for Africa at UN-Habitat Ms. Axumite Gebre-Egziabher reaffirmed the agency’s commitment to support Kenya in advancing the agenda of sustainable urban development.

“While urbanization in Kenya and the rest of Africa is characterized mainly by numerous challenges, such as waste management, youth unemployment and safety; the rapid urbanization is also a huge advantage yet to be fully exploited,” she said. According to the Director, an estimated 35 percent of Kenyans reside in urban areas and the number is expected to rise to approximately 54 percent by 2030.

“It should not be lost on anyone that in Kenya, urban areas contribute an estimated 65 percent of the Gross National Income. These are an important resource in Kenya’s development. But for Kenya and other African countries to maximize this urban advantage, how urbanization is planned and managed will greatly determine whether or not sustainable urban development and overall sustainable development will be a reality,” she said.

Representing Cabinet Secretary for Land, Housing and Urban Development Engineer Nyariki said his ministry was happy with the project and would wish to see similar projects initiated in other parts of the country, same sentiments expressed by the representative from the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources.