Is Embu town set to be the cleanest town in the country?
by Super User

Three months ago five (5)[1] residential settlements in Embu town were characterized by garbage strewn all over the place.

This state of affairs on the one hand reflected the resident’s lack of concern in the prevailing unsanitary conditions in their neighborhood and on the other hand the County Government lack of adequate capacity for solid waste management. Today there is a complete reversal of the situation from dirty garbage strewn neighborhoods to the cleanest neighborhoods in town. This transformation has been possible thanks to the Waste Decentralization and Monitoring (WADEMO) Project a partnership between the Embu Local Urban Forum (ELUF) through Unity for Development - Community Based Organization (U4D – CBO) , the County Government of Embu and the support of the Civil Society Urban Development Programme (CSUDP).

The WADEMO Model

The WADEMO Model consists of two components (1) Waste segregation at source and (2) Composting of organic waste. Clearing of all open illegal dumping sites and community sensitization in the project sites preceded the implementation of the project. Plots and households were then registered in a Computerized Waste Monitoring System (WMS) and issued with two color coded and well labelled waste bags for biodegradable (Green) and non-biodegradable (Yellow) waste respectively.

On Tuesday’s C4D – CBO affiliated group members collect the bagged waste using hard carts from the households and transport it to a waste transfer station (the transfer station has two compartments for biodegradable and non-biodegradable waste respectively) centrally located in each settlement. On Thursday’s County Government’s trucks collect the bagged waste from the transfer stations, the bio-degradable waste is moved to the U4D – CBO de-compositing site at the Prisons Department and the non-biodegradables to the land fill.

Sustainability

Landlords will pay a monthly fee of Kshs. 150 for the service and each household will pay Kshs. 80 per month for the supply of the waste bags. Embu Local Urban Forum and U4D – CBO will be lobbying the County Government to impose penalties for littering that will make citizens aware of their responsibility in maintaining a clean environment. The CBO will also impose a No segregation, No collection policy.The WADEMO story describes how a grassroots organization by its commitment to a clean and healthy living environment have won the support of the County Government and that of the citizens. 

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