Nairobi, 1 March 2021 – UN-Habitat and its counterpart agencies launched handwashing stations in Dandora dumpsite where more than 3,000 waste pickers are working, and hundreds of thousands of urban poor are living around.

The launch was organized together with the Kenya Alliance of Residents Association (KARA) inviting the Embassy of Japan in Kenya as the donor of this entire project including personal protective equipment distribution, as COVID-19 mitigation effort through the African Clean Cities Platform (ACCP).

“Handwashing is one of the most important mitigation actions against COVID-19, and we expect these handwashing stations will support you to be protected from COVID-19. Washing hands will also greatly contributes to improve hygiene level of waste collectors.” said by Mr. Daisuke Nagaosa, in charge of ACCP, the Embassy of Japan in Kenya.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has already demonstrated that how vulnerable our communities are. As COVID-19 measure, having this facility with safe water filters we can be more resilient and move forward to be better place.” says Mr. David Kuria, a representative of Nakuru, one of the secondary cities that partners with UN-Habitat. 

One of the waste picker group leaders, James Njehia Wairimu says “the project of hand washing stations is very helpful project to all people in the dumpsite. There are many dirty materials in this place and risks to contact COVID-19. Now we wash our hands and we will be out of danger of the corona virus as well as other viruses. With the help of Japanese people, UN-Habitat, and Kenyan organisations, we can overcome all the challenges we face.”

In terms of solid waste management concerns in Nairobi, Mr. Mario Kainga, Director of Water and Sanitation, Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS), says that “we appreciate a development of integrated solid waste management master plan in Nairobi with implementation, and commitment of relevant efforts such as Nairobi River Cleaning, we hope we will replicate these fruitful efforts in other part of the city for sustainable waste management system and policy development.”    

After the remarks, one of five hand washing stations was officially opened by Eng. Stephen Nzioka, Director Environment, Water and Sanitation, NMS. After one month, the liquid soap will be produced and filled in by women groups in the surrounding community and sustainable operations will be provided by the community members.