Improving solid waste management practices to reduce health risks in Nairobi and Mombasa

Globally, urbanisation is associated with the increased generation of solid waste. City authorities are struggling to provide adequate waste management services,

especially in developing countries. In Kenya, approximately 50 per cent of solid waste generated daily in Nairobi is disposed of unsafely. Poor solid waste management

(SWM) has negative health impacts, including the proliferation of infectious and non-communicable diseases. It also contributes to environmental degradation and

greenhouse gas emissions. A research study carried out in Nairobi and Mombasa revealed high variability in SWM practices, from storage to collection, transport and

disposal. Residents of both cities who participated in the study reported high levels of awareness about health risks associated with poor SWM, yet limited awareness

of waste reduction, reuse and recycling. The findings set out policy implications for integrated SWM.