Nairobi Mukuru, East Africa’s largest dumpsite and environmental disaster

Mukuru is the name in Kiswahili of the Nairobi municipal dumpsite, started in 1975, between Dandora and Korogocho two neighborhoods on the north side of the city.
Although declared full since 2001 full by the Nairobi City Council, it has continuously expanded covering now a surface of 125’000square meters. The recycling and garbage industry is indeed a very profitable business and the companies in this sector count many politicians among their shareholders.
It is estimated that at least 6’000 people scavenge here, a large proportion of which are women and children.
As the site is entirely controlled by 2 rival gangs and off-limit for the police, fights happen frequently as well as sexual abuses and human trafficking due to the presence of many young female workers.
Pollution hazard is a major concern, studies by the United Nations have shown that scavengers have serious health problems which threaten also the million people leaving in the surrounding slums, some only 50 m away. 2014 The Waste Atlas Report named the Mukuru “an environmental disaster”.
Because Dandora is a ghetto away from the large public and the media attentions, its history exemplifies the brutality of the Kenyan system: laissez-faire, contempt for the population, personal enrichment, inability to plan and utter indifference for infrastructures and pollution matters.
The landfill keeps growing in total illegality covered up by the endless silence of the authorities.
Endless? Not exactly! May 26,2016, a report of the City Hall stated that most of the garbage was deposited only at the entrance of the dumpsite, consequently there was enough space available for the next 10 years.
Furthermore, to cope with the steady increase in volume, new access roads will be opened through Dandora and depositing at night will be authorized.

Scroll with down arrow on the right to pictures

Using Format