Personal Responsibility to Boost Nairobi’s Waste Management Efforts
May 2023
Bernard Maluki


By James Njoroge

For the longest time, the Nairobi county government has struggled with managing waste while deploying various measures over the years. Since the inception of devolution, the county increased budget allocations towards solid waste management from Sh103 million during the 2014/15 financial year to Sh1.5 billion during the 2016/17 financial year.

Currently, the county has a population of approximately five million people, with each Nairobian producing 0.48kg of waste per day on average. Notably, most waste emanates from households, small businesses, and industries. 

Among the measures to manage waste, there has been a focus on individual responsibility through proper disposal. In this line, several community initiatives have emerged. 

Technology is also standing out as a central player in helping manage the waste menace by turning branded household waste into valuable goods. For instance, Taka Bank is among technological innovations run by a local city organization rewarding residents for proper waste management. The service available through a mobile application helps deal with household waste whereby branded garbage is redeemed for edible foodstuffs like maize flour, cooking oil, etc. Taka Bank was founded by young creatives from Dandora. 

Elsewhere, the Green Compound Solution is among the unique and innovative initiatives pioneered by youth groups to keep the city clean. For example, the Korogocho based organization has rehabilitated a public space that hosted a dumpsite that served as a hideout for criminals. Currently, the space is a park acting as a venue for community gatherings and a playground for children. 

Furthermore, one of Nairobi county’s pain points in waste management has been the Dandora dumpsite. The dumpsite has hit its full capacity with 1.8 million tonnes of waste, at least three times more than the designated capacity of 500,000 tonnes. 

The dumpsite is also witnessing an inflow of 2,500 tonnes of garbage daily. Interestingly, the dumpsite is also faced with accessibility challenges. In this regard, the county government is building an all-weather road to the dumpsite as part of solving the accessibility challenge. 

Image: NMS personnel supervising a past garbage collection exercise. Source:

This story was produced by Maluki Bernard from Koch FM in partnership with Code for Africa, Kenya Community Media Network (KCOMNET) and the Catholic Media Council with support from the German Cooperation as a part of the Our County Our Responsibility project.

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