Mombasa county government has up to end of June to close the VoK dumpsite in Nyali constituency and other illegal waste disposal sites in the county.
This follows a directive by National Environment Management Authority banning all illegal dumping at the site. The area is surrounded by residential houses and residents and environmentalists have been pushing for closure of the dumpsite to avert an epidemic.
The ban has come as a reprieve to thousands of residents who reside and operate businesses near the dumpsite. Mombasa county government will now have to relocate all garbage dumping activities to the main dumpsite at Mwakirunge about 10 km away.
The VoK dumpsite which stands on a 25-acre land belonging to Kenya Broadcasting Corporation had been designated as garbage pickup point by the county government following the closure of Kibarani dumpsite.
Some tycoons with insatiable appetite for idle land have allegedly grabbed a big chunk of the KBC land.
Garbage pile up at the site which extends to doorsteps of residential houses in the area has raised eyebrows from locals and tourists alike with environmentalists seeing it as a major threat to the environment.
An environmental lobby, Clean Mombasa has been spearheading campaigns towards stopping people and companies from dumping garbage at the site which they termed as a serious health hazard.
The lobby members have severally pitched tent at the VoK site, sensitising locals on their roles in conserving environment as they call for its immediate relocation.
Environmental pollution in the entire VoK area has affected economic well-being of local residents especially investors in real estates who claim to be losing tenants every day due to thick smoke and pungent smell emanating from the site.
Muinga Chokwe, the Clean Mombasa CBO chairman and a renowned environmentalist says effects of pollution from the site may be long term both on the locals and the environment.
“We are happy as Clean Mombasa CBO to hear that this place is finally going to be closed and these mountain of garbage moved to Mwakirunge. The move is a plus to Mombasa residents and our members who have fought tirelessly to see this place and the environment here become clean again,” said Muinga last week.