must selflessly work towards harvesting the community and not individual fruits. We must be ready to sacrifice our own individual aspirations for the sake of public good.
If well managed, the site and garbage collection in the city is capable of creating up to five thousand jobs, according to an Italian waste management company, which was temporarily contracted to manage waste at the dumpsite.ii Experts agree that over 80% of the waste in Nairobi can be recycled, creating more jobs directly and indirectly to thousands of residents.
Social justice as tool for strengthening inter-religious harmony
It is due to the situation of these exploited workers and the confirmed health risks that religious communities in Kariobangi, Dandora and Korogocho, meeting under the banner “Inter-religious committee Against Dandora Dumpsite” in conjunction with national human rights institutions, set up a campaign in 2005 for the relocation of the dumpsite. The pressure group cites serious legal, economic and human rights issues informing their opposition for the continued existence of the dumpsite in Dandora.
The dumpsite experience is a lesson to educate our people to be more concerned about their environment and act to improve it. Many are the times we are tempted to be spectators as others struggle for our rights. We must be participants in the change process. Advocacy and the struggle for a people’s liberation must be spearheaded by the people themselves. The society equally needs to be endowed with adequate environmental etiquette. We should ensure that our own little neighbourhoods are very clean. Other stakeholders therefore need to come up with suggestions which can help us surmount this danger of the dumpsite.
The Dandora inter-religious committee on its part has come with a number of proposals as a way forward. The committee has asked that The Dandora dump site be closed immediately and the area developed into a historical park where communities around can relax and celebrate their struggles. According to environmentalists, the dumpsite area cannot be developed into residential areas for about 15 years. The pressure group has further asked the Ministry of Local Government to decentralise waste management to eight different zones and put up waste sorting and recycling plants to ensure that over 80% of the waste is recycled. The future dumpsite would then be fenced and ensure that only the wastes which cannot be recycled are dumped there and necessary public health precautions are taken to minimise any human suffering.
Those who currently work at the dumpsite are experts in their field and the committee has called on the government and any waste management companies which the government may contract to ensure that they are absorbed and paid acceptable wages and salaries. Youth Environment Groups will also be involved in collecting, sorting and recycling the waste. The committee promises to stand for the rights of those working in the dumpsite to ensure that none of them is declared redundant by any future development plans for the dumpsite.
The committee has also asked the government to develop recreation and health facilities around the dump site to benefit those who are working there and the neighbourhoods. To