Three Umoja residents sue NEMA, Nairobi County over hazardous waste dumping in the area

Three Umoja residents sue NEMA, Nairobi County over hazardous waste dumping in the area

Three residents of Umoja, Nairobi, have filed a lawsuit against the National Environment and Management Authority (NEMA) and Nairobi County Government over illegal waste disposal in their area.

The petitioners, Victor Obuli, Nyogesa Namude, and Odhiambo Akude, have brought the case to the Environment and Land Court, seeking to halt the dumping of garbage at the Umoja dumpsite and along the powerlines in the area.

The residents argue that the county government has violated their right to a clean and healthy environment by neglecting waste collection and failing to dispose of it properly.

They state that the accumulated garbage has blocked roads, emitted foul odors, and attracted stray animals and insects, creating significant health hazards.

“The moment any individual prepares a meal, the flies within a second from the dumpsite start flying all over the houses and in the houses,” the residents’ petition reads in part.

Additionally, the petitioners have included the Kenya Electrical Transmission Company (KETRACO) and the Kenya Rural Roads Authority (KERRA) in their lawsuit.

They say that the waste has obstructed the road connecting Umoja 1 and Umoja 2, forcing residents to take longer and more expensive routes.

The petitioners emphasize the urgency of the situation, noting the presence of hazardous materials and the potential for disease outbreaks, particularly during the rainy season.

They want the court to order a temporary injunction to stop the dumping and reopen the blocked road.

“Pending the hearing and determination of this Petition, an Order of Temporary injunction be issued against the 1st Respondent, to prevent, stop or discontinue the dumping of garbage at Umoja Dumpsite and along the electric powerlines within Umoja area,” the petition continues.

Lady Justice Anne Omollo has certified the matter as urgent and ordered the respondents to file their responses within five days.

The case is scheduled for a hearing on June 24, 2024.

Nairobi Senator Edwin Sifuna on February 21 also criticized Governor Sakaja’s handling of the waste issue, attributing the neglected dumpsite to delayed payments to garbage contractors.

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