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

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

Representatives of the waste picker groups received the equipment, which was then distributed to individuals. Two more distributions for 800 additional waste pickers will take place in the coming weeks.

"Protecting the health and safety of waste pickers, who work in hazardous conditions, is critical to limiting the risk of contracting COVID-19," said Henry Ochieng, CEO of KARA.

Richard Kainika, Secretary General of Waste Recyclers (KAWR) added, "Waste pickers play an important role in the waste value chain in Kenya by providing raw materials to the recycling industry.

The project encourages all waste pickers at the landfill to use PPE properly and wash their hands frequently.

During the distribution, a message from the Japanese Ministry was read, stating, "A hand washing station is not only the immediate response to our urgent challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic but also medium and long-term countermeasures to improve the health status of this area by using it properly."